Marketers Contemplate Going ‘Gangnam Style’

2 Oct

AdAge’s recent article, “Will brands buy into ‘Gangnam Style’?” had me wondering if such a humorous YouTube video could become mainstream/marketable in the US. The lyrics are in Korean and most viewers don’t even know what Psy, the Korean pop artist, is saying! “Gangnam style” has swept the world but I can understand the uncertainty from US marketers. 

Though the video has become an internet sensation according to adage with over “747 million video viewers” and 348,671,155 million Youtube viewers, we see one-hit wonders come and go. Does anyone remember William Hung’s audition for American Idol in 2004?  The Asian American  former  civil engineer student from Berkeley gained fame from singing (or attempting to sing) Ricky Martins hit song “She Bangs” on the third season of American Idol. He tried pursing a music career but is now allegedly employed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as a technical crime analyst.

Marketers come into the picture when trying to appeal to what’s trending to consumers and the public. Should they invest millions into Psy or should they wait for the public’s interest to fade? Marketers are challenged when trying to appeal to consumers that receive an overabundance of information which has created a society that has constant shifts in attitudes and are less invested in any particular topic, person, or product. Regardless of this challenge and uncertainty of Psy success with American consumers, Brad Haugen, CMO of Scooter Braun Projects has reveled his belief in Psy stardom. He has confirmed that Psy is being pitched to marketers and brands and that the first U.S. deal is expected to happen in a few weeks.

Though I enjoyed the video Gangnam Style and believe that Psy is talented, funny and sincere, unless he finds a way to stay relevant in the minds of consumers, I predict in a month we’ll be on to the next one-hit wonder.

Check out Gangnam Style on YouTube!


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