And you thought you had heard it all. This is a perfect example of video/media influence, and it doesn't come from MTV, VH1, or any major network. Once again, a bit of YouTube monkey business has garnished enough attention to draw in serious recognition to a band that might have otherwise been lost in a myriad of Independent Musicians, who struggle for more promotion.
It's been assumed by many, that in order to succeed as an Independent act, you would need to be able to hone right in on a crowd that was either relevant to your musical tastes, or relevant to your local area. While such targeted promotion might often be correct, Da' Zoo showed the world that it was not the only way to achieve widespread recognition and Billboard rankings.
First of all, lets address the issue that may be at hand when a reader takes a glimpse of the title. For quite a while it has been noted and proven that sex sells. I'm not talking about prostitution on the street, or anything that Senator Craig would have taken a strong opposition to. I'm referring to the countless albums of women dressed scantily on album cover art, or dressed with no clothes at all. A perfect example would be the 1976 release of The Scorpian's album, entitled "Virgin Killers", which we tactfully decided not to post the artwork of (hey, there is some morality here). The list continues on and on. Jimi Hendrix released Electric Ladyland in 1968, which showed several nude woman on the cover. In 1978, Queen released Fat Bottom Girls, which came with a full length insert of naked women preparing for a bicycle race.
Even at sites such as Music Forte, which was once dedicated to Independent Music, the same strategy among artists existed as they competed for higher sales. It's a hit-or-miss situation and it isn't always directed to the interests of men. While many may be turned off by the "cheap" and "distasteful" promotion for extra dollars, it may be money in the bank for customers who need some eye candy. Having said that, it's important to remember that "There Is No Such Thing As Bad Press".
Da' Zoo had taken a slightly different approach, and while it may at first seem to trump any sexual references that have appeared in past artist promotions, it is not as bad as it sounds. Their biggest success came from YouTube. Almost every serious artist in the world has worked their way into YouTube to promote their music videos. Some artists have collected thousands of fans and subscriptions along the way. But in order to make it to the top, you have to be amazing and quick about it, but most importantly, you need to be creative. There is no better way to accomplish that than with a viral video.
Don't get me wrong, when I say "viral", there is no reference to sexuality or STDs. Nor does "viral" have anything to do with computer viruses that are often used for malicious promotion. A viral video, is a safe promotional tactic. It is a video that is so interesting, humorous, amazing, or heartwarming, that it creates an instant buzz. Some past examples of YouTube sensations include music by Sick Puppies in their, "Free Hugs" video. This uplifting feature brought the word to tears, and an incredible amount of attention to the music that accompanied the presentation.
Viral videos helped get the word out to younger audiences when will.i.am released, "Yes, We Can", supporting (at the time) Presidential Candidate, Barrack Obama, along the campaign trail.
So who is Da' Zoo, and what have they done that is such a sensation? You may not have heard of them before. Da' Zoo is a Puerto Rican band, with 96% of their sales coming from Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. According to Nielson Sound Scan, they had sold fewer than 1,000 albums in the release of their debut album during the first week. Ruben Leyva, managing director of U.S. Latin at Sony Music Entertainment reports, "It's hard to pitch a new artist when you have no story to tell… Now, more often than not, we're getting, 'Yeah, we've heard of them.'"
And while this is surely good news for Sony, it must be even more exciting news for Da' Zoo, who has recently landed additional sponsorship with Coors, and a chain of trade schools, that now feature the artist's music, by featuring Da' Zoo in it's advertising.
But just how raunchy is it? How low did they have to sink in order to gather so many views in such a short time? And who wants to watch Chimpanzee sex anyhow? That is one of the few reasons I want to stay away from monkey exhibitionists when I take my kids to the zoo (the other would be poo-flinging). The answer to the question is simple. While the title may raise eyebrows, the video relies on good ol' fashion humor that can be understood no matter which language you speak.
Congratulations to Da' Zoo for finding away to expose their music around the world with monkey chuckles and for not exposing anything else!