A YouTube Star Is Born: Next Level Distribution Takes Marketing to the Next Level

Move over Justin Bieber… the custom electronics industry has its own YouTube sensation. Next Level Distribution’s new director of marketing Mark Garijanian is shaking up the custom electronics industry with a series of music video parodies to announce the company’s monthly Level Up catalog of promotions.

The videos to date have been hilarious remakes of Hall & Oates “Maneater” and Danzig’s “Mother” music videos. In both videos, Garijanian plays the lead role (including both Hall and Oates) and inserts new lyrics to the well-known tunes that highlight some of the promotions Next Level is touting for the month, from Hisense to Google to LG and more.

Garijanian graduated in communications 15 years ago.

“I did not know what I wanted to do. I realized that I love music, movies, and sports, but I was not going to be an actor, musician or athlete,” he recalls.  His first foray in the industry was with regional rep firm Hobbs Marketing and Distribution in Roswell, Ga. That was followed by time at Aim High Audio and Phoenix Marketing Group.

When COVID-19 hit, he knew he had to try something different on the marketing side, so he started dubbing himself into famous movie clips, playing characters from Ron Burgundy to Doc Brown, to put the spin on the company newsletters and catalogs.

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“Soon, customers started calling in anticipation of what was coming out next. I guess you could call it guerilla marketing, or out of the box, or even crazy, but that is what grabs attention,” he says.

Garijanian joined Next Level Distribution three months ago.

” I am trying to do things differently. Everyone does the same thing.”

— Mark Garijanian, Next Level Distribution

May was the first music video parody, focused around Danzig’s “Mother” video with a spin on Mother’s Day. June’s video was the Hall & Oates takeoff.

“The ideas are generated mostly by just me coming up with things. I will watch something. I have three or four ideas picked out at any time. I get people on our sales team sending me ideas all the time now,” he says.

Once the idea is in place, Garijanian watches the original music video, which can’t have too many people in it since he is playing all the roles. From there, he rewrites the new lyrics and works with Samir Mashlum, a Next Level employee who also happens to be a talented musician. Mashlum performs all the music in the video from scratch. The videos are not using the music from the original music videos. Together, Garijanian records the audio track with Mashlum.

For the post-production, Next Level has an employee in the claims department in its Jupiter, Fla., the location named Kendall Apte who has talented video production skills. Apte has all the cameras and lighting equipment. In total, it takes about an hour to record the audio and four to five hours to shoot the video. From there, Apte spends about a week in post-production.

“For the first few videos I flew down to Jupiter and now he is going to come to Georgia for the next one. We hope to be able to go to dealer’s showrooms and use our distribution outlets as backdrops for future videos. Eventually, we want to get some of the dealers to participate in the videos,” says Garijanian.

The upcoming July video will be tied to the Independence Day holiday in some fashion.

“There are so many possibilities. I create the ideas and the lyrics and figure out how to tie it into what we are selling. For example, sustainability and services are two focuses for Next Level that I will be incorporating into lyrics,” he notes.

The video is embedded in Next Level Distribution’s monthly newsletter to dealers. Garijanian says the reaction from integrators has been amazing.

“People are more open to this as marketing because it is music. I am trying to do things differently. Everyone does the same thing. Is it more difficult? Absolutely, but I think the return will be worth it,” he adds.

In the custom electronics world in which most marketing is focused on product specifications (yawn!), the Next Level campaigns are certainly a breath of fresh air.

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