Don't Stop the Party Rock

How sick is this video?

I'm a little biased. I've known Red Foo for 20 years. Been to his mom's house. Gave him career advice (which he probably didn't need and certainly didn't follow), when he was a teenager sleeping on the floor of a studio off of Crenshaw Blvd. He produced a track for my first record deal — a demo deal with (then Columbia Records a&r) Randy Jackson for a girl group I managed. Okay, I know a demo deal isn't a real record deal; that's not the point.

The point is I want this guy to win, and he is. Big. People all over the world are unable to keep themselves from dancing to this track. Even the Kia Soul hamsters are in on the fun. So what's the problem?

I don't get Kia. It's obvious that want to be cool so bad. And they're close. The first round of Soul commercials (sock monkey, robot) weren't bad. The hamsters are brilliant. Then they have some half-assed experiential programming — you know, hire the usual guys to do the usual parties, get coverage on the usual blogs. Who cares? They're like Scion-lite with better TV spots.

What if they facilitated these Party Rock flash mobs? Set-up shuffle contests and impromptu dances everywhere? Capture it all on camera and really take that movement to the fullest? Make Kia Soul synonymous with dancing your ass off. Start with the shuffle and move on to other kinds of dances, done in public for fun and profit. That's a brand that sounds like fun.

Social Media Gone Wrong… The New 5

"> Disclaimer: This post may not be all that helpful.

I just need to vent. I've just come from the YouTube page for the United States Treasury, which features a "viral" video for the new $5 bill, as well as an unveiling of the new $100.

The $100 spot offers a walkaround as if to show us the features of a new car, while the $5 clip is a little infomercial packed with consumer reactions.

This is complete insanity. Why would anyone feel the need to market money? And where did they get the money to market money? Who approved this? There's a long list of people who need to be fired immediately.

My guess is this is a case of someone taking the job a little too seriously and paying too much attention to all of the hype around social media. Sure, over 800,000 people watched the Ben Franklin video, but so what? Most of those people don't have jobs, and won't be getting their hands on a bill anytime soon. And even if they do, so what?

It seems obvious to me that money has no intrinsic value. That is, it doesn't matter how nice the bill is, or how much it costs to print. The only thing that matters is what I can buy with it. Am I missing something? Is there some conceivable reason why it would be important for me to feel good about the $5 bill in my pocket, other than the fact that I can take it out of my pocket to buy a Hot Pocket? Or something else cheap that rhymes with pocket?

Someone please tell me why this makes sense. I would have written them directly, but of course comments have been disabled on the page.

YouTube Fireside Chats // Down With Us

Man, these guys are right on it. President-Elect Obama announced last week that he'll be addressing the world weekly via YouTube and radio broadcasts. That's what I'm talking about!

You might be wondering — Why? He already got elected, what does he need to do that for? How will he have time to do this? — and things of that nature.

Obama's platform was a little thing we like to call change. What he really meant to say was that he's a Rebel. Apparently, he believes in the things we believe in, such as transparency, and conversation. Maybe he understands that if he engages the public in regular, relevant conversations, they will continue to support his brand. See my last post about this: a lot of people felt invested in the outcome of the election for the very first time, and now part of the President's job is to keep them engaged.

This is the right way to do that: go where the people are, do something relevant to them, and be your brand.

You can watch the first address here.