Big Time Rush follows in Justin Bieber's viral video footsteps
Nickelodeon is seeking to emulate the virtuoso of viral video, Justin Bieber.
The pop music phenomenon, discovered on YouTube, used the online video site to propel fellow Canadian artist Carly Rae Jepsen onto the Billboard charts in the U.S.
Bieber and a group of friends — including girlfriend (and "Wizards of Waverly Place" star) Selena Gomez, (former Disney Channel star) Ashley Tisdale and Carlos Pena Jr. of Nickelodeon's boy band, Big Time Rush — created an infectious music video in which they lip sync to Jepsen's single "Call Me Maybe."
"I figured how interesting would it be to take a video with young teen celebrities who are all friends and show people that we're just like everybody else," said Pena, who worked on the video for more than a month, shooting as he and his friends hung out.
Big Time Rush bandmates Logan Henderson, Kendall Schmidt and James Maslow joined in the soon-to-be-viral video, with scenes recorded while the band toured in London and Germany. Martin Johnson, lead singer from Boys Like Girls, also appeared.
The goofy, frolicsome video — in which these luminaries of young Hollywood don sunglasses and fake handlebar mustaches as they sing and dance along with the song — was the stuff of YouTube gold. It has logged nearly 30 million views and not coincidentally helped push "Call Me Maybe" into the Top 10 of Billboard's Digital Charts.
"It was real and spontaneous," said Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, who signed Jepsen to SchoolBoy Records. "I would have preferred to launch it on a Monday, not on a Sunday of a three-day weekend, where Monday's a day off."
Pena (and Nickelodeon) sought to duplicate the ebullient spirit — if not exactly the spontaneity — of the "Call Me Maybe" video. Members of Big Time Rush announced as the band claimed the award for Favorite Music Group that they would be shooting a live music video during the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Ceremony.
"We literally had a camera crew (and) ... we literally ran around during all the commercial breaks, shooting stuff," Pena said.
The resulting music video depicts the boy band arriving at USC's Galen Center, where they were greeted by screaming fans (one of whom was holding an "I heart BTR" sign), dancing with members of the audience in the aisles, running on stage to collect their blimp award and being slimed in the mosh pit. Some footage was shot aloft from the Nickelodeon's trademark orange zeppelin the day before the event.
"The cool part was we had no idea when the award was going to be announced, so we had to run back to our seats after filming," Pena said. "Since it was the first one up, it was like a shock to us. We ended up winning. The rest of the night was just a party, because our nerves were gone."
The song is appropriately titled: "Time of Our Life."
— Dawn C. Chmielewski