I was just alerted by my daughter to the latest madcap video of Walk Off The Earth, so I'm scrapping what I was about to post and am featuring this clip instead. In this vid WOTE has teamed up with the Virginia pop/rock band Parachute to deliver a peppy cover of Pharrell’s global hit, "Happy."
What I love about Walk Off The Earth is the creative joy of their work, which their live shows amply demonstrate. (Try to catch them in a small club, while you still can.) In keeping with their brand, WOTE's videos are wonderfully nutty. Note the “forced vibrato” in Sarah Blackwood’s vocals later in the clip.
I’ve said it before and I won't stop: Why can’t more businesses reflect this sense of FUN? Why are there only a handful of well-known organizations that have made "being alive" a "way of life"? (Think: Zappos or Southwest Airlines or the late, great Commerce Bank.) If innovation—the foundation of the Creative Economy—is nurtured in a culture that encourages a lightness of being, an attitude of good cheer, and a sense of experimental PLAY, why is the 21st century workplace still such a grim place? (Of course there are exceptions, and I sincerely hope you work in one.)
On a marketing note, it was obviously a smart move for WOTE and Parachute, who have been performing together on tour, to collaborate on a video. This way Parachute’s fans worldwide get exposed to a crazy band they probably never heard of and WOTE’s fans get to discover Parachute. When I first heard Parachute's music on skincare ads (which—believe it or not—is not where I search for good rock talent) I promptly wrote them off. But this clip motivated me to listen to their songs on iTunes and I found a couple of tracks I liked and downloaded. Mission accomplished. Perhaps Pharrell’s fans will now discover both bands.
This clip has gotten a quarter-million views already, within 24 hours of its upload on YouTube (which is a few more views than I get on a good day).
For an earlier post on the critical importance of “play” in our workplace, check here.