Like them or loathe them the Rubber Bandits have gone from relative obscurity to having over 1 million YouTube hits with their latest music video “Horse Outside”. Not only that, they could get a Christmas no 1. So, how did two lads from Limerick that wear plastic Spar bags on their head get to this position?
Hard Work. While is seems like they are an overnight success, the Rubber Bandits have been playing Gigs in their native Limerick for a while. Cameos of “Horse Outside” at the Electric Picnic and on the TV show Republic of Tellly have given the YouTube video a public profile.
Controversial. The nature of their act is controversial. This has gained them free publicity in local and national papers including the Limerick Post and RTE.ie. The American media, CNBC, have also taken note of our fondness for this song. "One of the most popular songs in Ireland at this very moment is about how owning a horse is superior to owning a fancy automobile. It may be that the message is resonating with the Irish people".
Facebook. With over 60,000 fans on Facebook the Rubber Bandits are growing a sizeable following. Their YouTube video is posted across their Facebook Fanpage giving exposure to their fans.
The recession. The timing of their song is perfect. The banking and political crises has created a wave of depression across Ireland and the song offers humor in this time of despair.
Sharing. Most articles that are published about the Rubber Bandits have social media sharing functionality like Twitter, Facebook and Stumbleupon. This helps to promote their YouTube video across the web.
Commenting. Just about every post about the Rubber Bandits has some form of comments. An act that polarizes opinions will receive positive and negative comments. All publicity is good publicity!
Social Media. The fans of the Rubber Bandits have used social media to post “Horse Outside” across the web. There are hundreds of social bookmarking and sharing websites. An example of the reach that social media has can be found Reddit.com. The video was posted here and due to trending (when a post is popular) has received over 500 comments. The dialogue is mainly between Irish and American viewers who are discussing the lyrics and music video content:
“for those not up to date with irish slang)
Yokes = ecstasy
NCT = National Car Test*
Tir na Nog = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_the_West_(film)#Synopsis
Yer one = a female”.
YouTube. YouTube is the best place to promote their video at the moment. The more hits they get the longer the video will stay on the front page of YouTube. Popular videos get prime retail space on YouTube. Increased user interaction such as comments on the video page will also help the authority of their video page.
Whether or not they make Christmas no1 is irrelevant. The Rubber Bandits have over 1 million YouTube hits which can be seen as video marketing success. As an exercise in video marketing this is a great case study and one which bands should learn from.