Old Spice Muscle Music – Interact Within the Actual Video Embed

If you had as many muscles as Terry Crews, it would behoove you to do something constructive with them, and I don’t mean playing football or lecturing the child version of Chris Rock on money matters. To really put those muscles to good use, Old Spice took a page out of the Daito Manabe playbook and virtually fitted every detail of Crews’ brawn to sensors that trigger percussion instruments, creating a one-man band not unlike the “Monkey Drummer” Chris Cunningham made for Aphex Twin.

Old Spice Muscle Music from Terry Crews on Vimeo.

The really sweet thing about this one though is that, once you watch the video, you can use your keyboard to trigger the instruments via Crews’ muscles, creating your own song—play Terry Crews like an instrument! Be careful though. This thing could end up sucking up the rest of your work day. And even if you put on your most serious face, hearing you tapping away rhythmically at your keyboard is a dead giveaway. Either way, you won’t be able to resist, so just go for it already.


Curious as to how Vimeo put together such a seamless interface, The Atlantic spoke with Abby Morgan, their Senior Manager of Strategic Sales Partnerships. Wieden came to Vimeo back in June, and together they worked with the visual effects shop The Mill to produce the spot. Asked why Wieden selected Vimeo over other video platforms, Morgan explains, “I think it was because we were willing to work with them throughout the entire process of ideation, creation, production … because we were willing to take the journey and step into the trenches with the creative process.” In addition to the live video recording of Crews, the video is a composite of over 150 different elements. While the Flash player runs through the music video, it loads the interactive portion, which is “effectively a new player.” The real triumph, Morgan says, was figuring out how to speed up the server-side compositing of 150 moving parts so that users could record and save their own Muscle Music videos. The process they came up with is surprisingly fast; watch the progress bar load and it just gleefully declares “COMPUTER STUFF HAPPENING!”

The player is not just a sweet new interactive toy; it marks a new phase of native brand integration for Vimeo, which has traditionally avoided advertising on the site, with the exception of a few sponsored contests (Canon’s Beyond the Still) and branded pages. “We’ve been careful with how we tread with advertising because our community is so unique,” Morgan says. Vimeo prides itself on the caliber of its creative community, focusing on developing as a platform for filmmakers and high quality video. Vimeo Plus subscribers pay $59.99 a year for extra features and space. “Any advertising we do needs to benefit not only the brand but our community,” Morgan explains, and “we want to be super native about it.” Luckily for Vimeo, their community (and the wide Internet audience beyond) seem quite happy to watch and share Muscle Music. Their boutique model for creative services seems to be a success, and Morgan says they plan to work with more brands in the future. Perhaps the clearest sign that the video platform has come into its own as a creative shop is the integration of its own key in the Muscle Music video. Hit “Y” and Crews yells “VIMEEOOOOO!”



About Fallon