I have a song in my head, its been going round in there for a few days. Luckily, unlike my friend who is has been plagued by the Dangermouse theme tune for many years, i like this one, its summery and lovely and folky and makes me happy to hum along.
Now its unsuprising that Beach House’s Zebra is my hum-along song du jour, I’m a fey east london indie girl predisposed to liking this sort of thing and they’re playing it quite regularly on BBC 6 music (which we have on in the eatbigfish office most days). And its not really worth the blog post just to pass on a bit of plinky plonky niceness. No, what i find interesting is where i first heard it. Not on the radio or the telly, not playing in the background of a we’re-hipper-than-you-are record shop, not wafting through the air at a music festival, not even soundtracking a soft focus mobile phone ad.
No, the first time i heard it was on youtube being sung by some children from staten island.
I’m not going to go on about the PS22 chorus and their 16,000,000 youtube views. You can read about them for yourself here (or i’m sure there’s a heartwarming Oscar hopeful film in the pipeline with Van Wilder Party Liaison in a career defining role as choir director Gregg so you could wait for that).
No, this is a blog about marketing, so i’ll get to the point.
The first time i heard of PS22 was a few months ago when friend shared their version of Bjork’s Joga on facebook which made me cry at my desk (not entirely unexpected, I am known to sob uncontrollably when the nuns sing in Sister Act), but then i pulled myself together, went back to the original and listened to it on a loop. Then they reminded me how much i love ‘I’ll be your Mirror’ by the Velvet Underground, which i then realised i didn’t own, which sent me straight to itunes.
So reminding me that I like Bjork and one purchase of $1 in Lou Reed’s pocket is not big news of course, but its still $1 more than i was planning on giving to Lou that day…and I’m sure when Phoenix released Lisztomania last year they didn’t bank on a school choir getting them an extra 470,000 views on youtube for free. I have no facts whatsoever on whether any of those 470,000 views translated into sales, but its safe to assume that maybe they got a couple of new fans out of it.
I’m not seriously suggesting that school choirs are the saviour of the music industry – although the hoohah and sales generated by the less heartwarming but equally brilliant New Directions might suggest otherwise, (i personally cannot wait for the Madonna episode). Just that, as Challengers doing more with less, we can embrace and exploit all the places that our potential consumers and fans might meet us, and some of those places might not be on our media plan but might already exist, we just don’t realise where they are until we go looking.
If i was in an obscure folky band with a new record to promote i’d kill for a PS22 version, but I’m not and i doubt you are either, so today maybe it might be worth thinking – what’s the equivalent of a PS22 Chorus cover version for us?
Or at least, why not have a watch and have a little joyful weep at your desk, it is Friday after all.