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Bohemian Video? The Muppets Take On Video Communications

December 14, 2009 - 10 Comments

“Me? In love with a pig? Wait ’til I tell the guys in marketing.”

– Kermit the Frog, The Muppets take Manhattan

When the rock band Queen released “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1975, they accompanied the single with a groundbreaking promotional video — one of the first music videos ever. With over 120 vocal tracks, the song was difficult to perform live and, essentially, the video helped Queen avoid a live appearance on Top of the Pops, the legendary British music chart television program. Fortuitously, the Bohemian Rhapsody video became revolutionary: it served to establish the visual language of the modern music video and started a music video trend that replaced live performances in the UK. When MTV launched in 1981, most of their videos came from British artists for this reason. Video was the game changer for modern music long before YouTube.  

Recently, the Muppets covered the rock classic on YouTube.  Since it was posted on November 23, it’s become a viral sensation, with more than 10 million views, as of this writing. Video is the game changer that just brought the Muppets – which my younger sister grew up with as part of the first Sesame Street generation in the early 70s– back into over 10 million of our lives.  (Not put off by social networking, the Muppets recently acquired a Facebook page and Twitter account.)

Now, video has become part of our everyday business. In our vernacular, we use telepresence more as a verb than a noun. We meet, communicate, share information internally and externally to audiences both small and large; we deliver virtual events all with video. Video enables us to connect globally and bond face-to-face.

As a communication tool, video builds trust and enables global teams to collaborate confidently. It allows emotion, intonation, and expression to be part of the communication — real time. Try doing that in e-mail, text, or IM with an emoticon.

However, none of it is possible without the network, the platform that powers video delivery.  Based on a borderless network architecture that breaks down silos between content formats, between individual tools and devices, between companies, and ultimately between people working towards a common goal, the Cisco architecture recommends the right options that empower individuals, teams and communities to get their work done. Whether it takes an in-room solution, a hosted PC-based solution, or a combination of the two –a borderless network architecture provides the foundation to make it all possible. Finally, with a layer of capabilities we call medianet, the network assures the video experience. 

Thus, with some trepidation, I must disagree with one of my kid sister’s childhood heroes. Kermit – or “Kermy” as Miss Piggy calls him, affectionately – takes a tongue-in-cheek shot at video communications at the end of the Bohemian Rhapsody cover. Video indeed is productive and when we all come together, we can make beautiful music together.

I hope this holiday season brings you together with the people you care about.   

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  1. You go with your bad muppet selves! I used to love the muppets!

  2. Amazing how that frog gets around

  3. love this mup show. :)hemsworth

  4. Alan, you made some great points in this post, particularly this quote:As a communication tool, video builds trust and enables global teams to collaborate confidently. It allows emotion, intonation, and expression to be part of the communication—real time. Try doing that in e-mail, text, or IM with an emoticon."" So true, and not only that :), video is huge when it comes to helping companies market their product or service online. Take for example these stats. * #3. That's the ranking of web video in a list of the top 10 most influential marketing mediums compiled by Deloitte LLP (it was beaten only by television and magazines). * 70%. That's the increase in web video viewership from 2008 to 2009. * 84%. That's the number of U.S. based Internet users who watch web video. * 11. That's the number of hours, on average, that every U.S. based Internet user spends watching web video each month. * 6 and 57. The first number is the average time, in minutes, visitors spend on a web site with video. The second number is the average time, in seconds, visitors spend on a web site without video. * 12%. That's the average increase in conversions rates for web sites using video vs. text-only sites.I also agree with another point you made, ""none of it is possible without the network"". The U.S. currently ranks 20th in broadband penetration, we really need to continue to implement more network infrastructure so more people can watch HD quality video over the net."

  5. Mamaa! lol. This was classic. I can't believe with over 10 million views this is the first I'm seeing of it. Sadly only 5 seconds of Kermit.I'm curious as to the purpose of the video besides putting the Muppets back on the map again.Thanks for posting this Alan, I plan on showing this to my friends and family.

  6. Thank you for the holiday wishes! Terrific video, made me chuckle mama.. mamaaa"" :o)Im sure Kermit meant well, don't be disheartened. Merry Christmas!"

  7. That's cute! I can't believe how much technology has changed over the past 20 years. I grew up on Sesame Street and to see my son watching this stuff on YouTube is amazing. He watches more Sesame Street on the web than on the television. 10 million views for that video in less than a month? Amazing!

  8. nice blog...must say nice..

  9. thx great

  10. What a pleasure to find again Jim Henson's puppets, nice comeback !