If 2020 has given us anything, it’s definitely given us a plethora of viral videos to digest due to the pandemic probably creating a lot of cabin fever and people letting down their guards to post anything and everything. One of the more recent was TikTok sensation Nathan Apodaca’s entry, casually skateboarding down a slight hill, jamming to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” while filming himself and sipping on some Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice.
It instantly went viral, inspiring a plethora of copycat posts by many online users, including the one and only Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac and the CEO of Ocean Spray himself, Tom Hayes. Clearly inspired by the virality of his product’s placement, Hayes and Ocean Spray gifted Apodaca a new set of (motorized) wheels and a ton of juice.
TikTok, riding the waves of their platform being the source of the video and the popularity of the news, spun the original and some copycats into a commercial in a few short days and had it on-the-ready for the MLB playoffs.
So this isn’t an advertisement, so to speak. Technically, it’s a music video. But, the sense of being “alone together” certainly had to have struck a chord with more than just me, and I think the 865,000+ YouTube views the video has received is a testament that my inkling is probably accurate.
OK GO, a band known for their viral videos of the past, not only wrote an emotionally charged and inspirational tune reflecting the times, but they also recorded their individual contributions independently. It was then transformed into an animated Zoom-esque display with a heartfelt, climactic ending paying homage to the healthcare workers battling on the front lines against the virus. As I said, it’s not an ad, per se, but it was a powerful salute to the selfless work and dedication of the doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel bearing the brunt of the pandemic.
After all, as not-so-famous ad man Howard Luck Gossage once said, “Nobody reads advertising. They read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.”
Even if you were to hate the song, there is no way the climactic ending doesn’t just make your heart swell and suddenly realize just how dusty it is in whatever room you were watching it in.
While 2020 has been quite the rollercoaster of emotion, with far more “downs” than “ups” for my liking, it has been refreshing to see the ad world stepping up to offer us a few moments of inspiration and joy. They’ve given us a few much-needed smiles at a time we certainly needed them.