Jack Black & Mike Campbell


As in not together. But they’ve both got videos you should watch once. But will you watch them again, will you send them to your friends, that’s the question.

At this point, seemingly all virality is serendipitous, you can’t pre-plan it. Come on, if someone told you a guy in Idaho skateboarding to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” drinking Ocean Spray would become a phenomenon, you would have done a spit-take.

Then again, how far is its reach? I did a Zoom call with a music management company yesterday and everybody was aware of it. But when there was an ad on TV Felice didn’t catch the references, and when I explained it to her, she still didn’t get it, she was unaware, she hadn’t seen it. Welcome to now, when what’s big in your own little bubble might be unknown elsewhere. Too many still think it’s the last century, with anointed gatekeepers, who dripped out only a few nuggets of information. But today it’s a firehose of info and if you don’t step away, find your own space, you’re gonna drown. Still, how do we achieve that “Dreams”/Ocean Spray phenomenon?

Well, you’ve got to ask yourself the question above, are you going for multiple views or just a train-wreck that people can’t help but forward?

You’re best off going for repeatability, which tends to engender forwarding.

And that tends to depend on raw creativity more than execution. Like Mike Campbell/The Dirty Knobs’ “F*ck That Guy.”


Actually, you should definitely watch this clip first. Because it’s low-key, as opposed to Jack Black’s. But what makes it work is the visuals, the guy with the Covid-19 head, that’s what makes the whole video, the concept, the execution is secondary. Everybody hates Covid-19, this guy walking around with the virus on his head engenders hate immediately. The video is more than surface, it gets your brain firing. And the song penetrates you a bit. But is it enough for true virality? Not everybody is gonna like the song, not everybody is a Mike Campbell fan, but the concept is so damn good, many people will forward the clip, assuming they see it.

And then comes Jack Black’s “Time Warp.”


There have been tons of these VOTE videos, and not a single one has caught fire, not a single one. Which is kind of amazing, doesn’t anybody have the creativity to cut through? It looks not.

And the problem with Jack Black’s musical performances is they’re always at ten, there’s no subtlety, no director to hold him in check, it’s like Tenacious D always believes it’s on stage long after dark before an audience of 10,000 screaming drunks who just want to party, even though the band’s songs always have an intellectual component, they’re not dumb.

So, I wish this rendition of “Time Warp” had more dynamics.

I also wish it was just a bit closer to the mainstream musically, it’s a bit too much nineties/garage band sound, which has limited appeal, then again this is the sound Gen-X’ers grew up with, begging the question once again, who is this video for?

Jack Black has a huge footprint, people know him, more for his acting than his singing, and he crosses generations, but this sound does not, and the song..? Does anybody under the age of thirty know “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”?

But the cameos make it. It’s been overdone, but mixing actors/musicians and politicians has not, it’s almost akin to “Laugh-In,” if you’re old enough to remember that!

You’ve got to watch it once to see the cameos, and there’s a good chance you’ll forward it, but you’ve got little desire to watch it again, the Mike Campbell video has more repeatability, but less inherent forwardability.

Maybe if the acts switched videos. I’d love to see Jack Black with a Covid-19 head.

And the juxtaposition of Campbell and all these cultural celebrities would be interesting, but…

Like I said at the top, maybe virality can’t be pre-planned, maybe you’ve just got to do what you want as opposed to pandering. Because people know you’re pandering. As for spreading the word, it turns out nobodies own this sphere more than somebodies, which is why TikTok and YouTube killed Quibi. It turns out people want to choose their entertainment and make their own stars. And this confounds oldsters. We’ve got the music business, which uses old stars to build new stars, mixing them up in features, and then signing the social media stars who always fade thereafter, because their one viral moment was their one viral moment.

Which brings us back to Mike Campbell. He’s on the right path. And the song is good, but it’s not a one listen smash.

But those are hard to create.

But start there.

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