Last week, rally driver and DC Shoes co-founder Ken Block released the first half of a two-part video announcing his 2012 schedule and new livery, or the paint scheme on his cars. Tuesday, the second video hit YouTube and received more than 100,000 views in 24 hours. The first video featured a mock TV interview with actor Nick Swardson playing the role of Block. The second, titled "Car Porn," is just that, a music video highlighting the best features of Block's new cars. We caught up with Block Wednesday afternoon for a behind-the-scenes look at both videos.
This is the second year you've used a video to announce your yearlong schedule. Why not just send out a press release?
It's really a matter of using social media the best we can to get our information out to our fans. The interesting thing about social media nowadays is you can't rely on one form. You can put out a press release, but unless every media outlet picks it up and posts it, which never happens, you have to do other things: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and we find different people see things in different places.
What was the inspiration behind the new graphics?
I liked the idea of going for the look and feel of the 80s, but in a modern way. And I wanted a couple prints that would work well on shoes. The crackled pattern looks very nice as a printed pattern on the footwear we make. With DC, a lot of the product graphics come directly from what we put on the car, so we tried to work back and forth so what we chose works well for everything.
What's the story behind the first video. You're not even in it.
With marketing, you're always trying to be unique and different to make sure it stands out. We went through a lot of ideas and I wanted to do something that was completely different. I've been friends with [actor] Nick Swardson for a while and thought it would be funny to do something ridiculous. The fake interview questions have all the information in them, but his answers are humorous and ridiculous and something to entertain the fans.
Why the second video?
We have a lot of international fans, so when we make something like the first video in English, we need to do a second video, so all those other fans in Europe and Japan, Australia, China that don't get the humor of Nick or have a language barrier are able to get something they can understand easily.
Steve Berra directed the Car Porn video. How did that happen?
I like the look of that short-focus lens stuff and I've never seen it in motorsports before. But I've seen Steve do that several times in skate videos for DC and for The Berrics, so I asked him. He was out at my house during Sundance and I approached him and he was really into it. It was his first time doing anything in the motorsports world and it was hard for him. He overshot things because he didn't know what detail we were calling out in the scripts. He wanted to make sure he had everything we needed, so I think it was daunting for him.
Will there be a U.S. stop of the five-stop Gymkhana World Tour?
There is not a U.S. tour stop now. The international demand has been higher than the demand in the States. There is so much interest in doing this in different countries, so I am stoked people are so interested in having me come and do these demos around the world. It's flattering. We'll finalize the schedule as soon as possible.
When can we expect Gymkhana 5? Have you started shooting it yet?
Gymkhana 5 will be released around the end of June or July. The demand and interest in those videos has been overwhelming. And as long as the fans keep watching, DC will keep paying for me to go out and have fun. We're working now on trying to find some unique concepts and locations. It's a long process trying to find unique locations and things to do with the car. It gets harder every year. It's a car; I can't kickflip it. But that's part of the fun for me.