Queens' OKFocus gets viral on its own terms
The Numa Numa kid never managed to translate his 44 million YouTube hits into a career. And that double rainbow dude never quite became a regular on the talk show circuit.
So how does a viral hit parlay its success into something that lasts longer than a head cold? "You don't," Ryder Ripps, co-founder of Long Island City agency OKFocus, told us. "You make things you think are good and see where it takes you. But I think our self-initiated work was our best advertisement for finding commercial work."
And he should know. Ripps, with his partners Jonathan Vingiano and Jules Laplace, has created more than a few websites that are at once viral sensations and pop-culture cudgels.
There was Lemme Tweet That For You, which allows users to create fake tweets from anyone. And then there was Whodat.biz. For about 24 hours, the site - a dressed up WHOIS registry billing itself as "Facebook for Websites" -- convinced the internet (and Washington Post) that this was Kanye West's long-rumored internet play.
But OKFocus is not just a conceptual art collective of merry pranksters -- they're also a full service creative agency, having created some truly innovative campaigns for Google, Svpply, and The Museum of Contemporary Art.
"If we just did run-of-the-mill, trendy looking websites, we'd probably have an easier time," Ripps said. "But as someone who enjoys challenges... our ideal clients are people who want to push boundaries and are open to anything."
Having a slow Monday? Challenge yourself to a rousing game of Where's the Pixel?, another OKFocus creation.
Now go forth (and let it happen).