In viral video sponsorship, when it comes to brand identification, OK Go and their underwriter prove less is more

Advertisers and their agencies talk a lot about viral videos.  “I have an idea!  Let’s make a video!”  And they do, and far more often than not, the thing goes nowhere.

This Too Shall Pass by OK Go

“This Too Shall Pass” went live on Monday, and already has 2.5 million views as of this moment.  I came across it via a link on Twitter feed from a guy I follow but don’t actually know, which directed me to his Tumblr page.

It features the band OK Go in a giant Rube Goldberg-type machine.  (These were the guys who made the 2006 video involving some rather acrobatic jumps on treadmills.)  The back-story is pretty cool.

Kudos to State Farm for sponsoring it, and for doing so in a very low key way.  Their very recognizable logo appears at the beginning, integrated into the first few seconds.  I noticed it but only really knew they were the sponsor at the very end.  This is exactly how viral videos should work.  Understated identification that makes a consumer connection but doesn’t get in the way of the entertainment value of the video itself.

As the Tumblr post I saw from Harry Shum Jr. notes, “OK Go….That was pure epicness….”  I have to agree.  (Updated)  I can’t help but notice that he has two dozen comments about it already himself.