Consumer & Behavioral Science Consulting
Capturing the Sound of the Northern Lights
I’ve written before a bit about synesthesia, or a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. CPGs have tried to exploit this idea (without recognizing that it’s actually a disorder and not a marketing tool). While this may be a somewhat unique way to start to tap into and exploit the senses, it doesn’t really work the way they’d like it to. But it is true that experiences are made up of a multisensory conglomeration of inputs.
We do not experience the world in a vacuum of separate sensory experiences. We smell and see and touch and taste… all at the same time. And a lot of the time, art is a great way to experience this phenomenon.
OK Go have been at the forefront of exploring new and original ways to get their music heard and seen. They seem to get the increasingly complicated consumer that is no longer just satisfied with run-of-the-mill, but rather are innovation hungry.
For example, their “treadmill video” hit really big a while back for being simply amazing visually. I know I was super impressed with the coordination and creativity went into making it.
Last year the band took it a step further with a partnership with Chevrolet. OK Go set up over 1000 instruments over two miles of desert outside Los Angeles. The car was outfitted with retractable pneumatic arms designed to play the instruments, and the band recorded this version of Needing/Getting, singing as they played the instrument array with the car. The video took 4 months of preparation and 4 days of shooting and recording.
Again, creative and super impressive.
For their latest innovation, OK GO is currently in the Arctic Circle creating a sound interpretation of the Northern Lights in collaboration with Sony!
The Norther Lights are the natural light phenomenon created in the sky by the collision of charged particles with atoms in very high altitude atmospheres, also known as the Aurora Borealis.
In order to interpret or create the sound of Lights, the band is using Sony products like smartphones and tablets, TVs and speakers along with musical instruments ranging from drums to synths and even a traditional Swedish instrument.
In an interview with Wired magazine the band says:
“We are not making a typical video. We are really trying to set up instruments in strange sonic spaces and see what it sounds like…
We are trying to make something that evokes the nostalgic, pensive, reflective thing that happens to people in pure silence…
They sound like outer space sounds.”
The final video will launch in early May.