Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Frog Goes Viral

What happens when you combine a company known for its cross-promotional skills, some of the most beloved puppets of all time, and a band known for their unique music videos? You get some pretty entertaining stuff.

As part of the promotion for the big revival of the Muppets, The Muppets, Disney has gone hog-wild (sorry, Miss Piggy). Taking a cue from the successful viral videos featuring the characters (including the smash-hit Bohemian Rhapsody cover), they've come up with some very clever marketing, including some amusing bait-and-switch trailers, and now a music video featuring a band whose videos have themselves gone viral multiple times, OK Go.

OK Go's version of the Muppet Show theme (from the new album of Muppet cover songs by alternative bands, The Green Album) is itself not that much to write about. But both OK Go and the Muppets are visual bands, combining music with visuals to create unique art. And the music video works. It's great to see all the Muppet gang we know and love as well as some of the more obscure characters (Sweetums! Marvin Suggs! Wayne and Wanda! Uncle Deadly!), and there are some clever references to OK Go's own videos. And you've gotta love the sight gag where the Muppets themselves are puppeteering the band. (I will, however, as others already have, take issue with OK Go's liberties taken on the song's lyrics. It's time to PUT ON music? Are the Muppets just gonna hang around listening to records all day instead of putting on a show?)

Also interesting to see is how Disney is using the other arms of its company to promote the film. A recent promo photo tied to the release of Captain America: The First Avenger featured Sam the Eagle in Cap's uniform, and there's also been a bit of a cross-promotion on the kid side, as Miss Piggy recently sat down for an interview with two guys I've written about at length here that Disney's pinned a lot of their hopes on, Phineas and Ferb.

Clearly, Disney has a lot pinned on the success of The Muppets as well, both for those who know and love the characters and the young ones who have no idea who they are. And hopefully it'll pay off. With Disney's success at making the Muppets go viral, there's no doubt.

"Viral? Where's the antidote? Do ho ho ho!"

Sheesh. Everyone's a critic.

THE MUPPETS ©Disney and/or Muppets Studio LLC. PHINEAS AND FERB ©Disney. MUPPET SHOW THEME (Pottle/Henson) ©Fuzzy Muppet Songs (ASCAP), Walt Disney Records. No ownership intended or implied.

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