Most video marketers have probably heard of the famous “Gangnam Style” video that, since its release in July 2012, is the most viewed and liked video on YouTube. The most viral video on YouTube is definitely worth a little analysis to figure out what made it so popular with most of the world.
What is Gangnam Style?
Gangnam style refers to the style of the people living in the Gangnam District of Seoul (much like Beverly Hills). In this area of Korea, there are many people who are considered posers and wannabes, and the “Gangnam Style” video is poking fun at these people trying to be something that they are not.
The song lyrics explain the characteristics of the type of girl that Psy (the Korean artist in the video) wants – a classy girl who is modest during the day, but knows how to have fun at night. Psy and his style is just like that, “oppa Gangnam style.”
Ready to put a little “Gangnam Style” into video marketing? Here’s how.
The Element of Surprise
“Gangnam Style” has about 22 different locations in the video. While it might be hard to get that many different scene changes for some, it is important to keep a video fresh and surprising.
Don't bore an audience with the same setting throughout the whole video. Change it up – surprise them, keep them wondering what is going to happen next. Remember, it’s OK to be random; it’s actually preferred!
Humor is a great tool to engage and entertain. Who doesn’t love to laugh?
Mixing awkward humor (like the part in “Gangnam style” when Psy tries to lay on a man’s shoulder in the sauna) with just-plain-funny humor (like the little Korean kid dancing like Michael Jackson) is a great method to keep people curious and entertained. Make sure to implement a little awkward and just-plain-funny humor into video.
Sex sells, but is it more important than humor? Apparently not, if you look at the number of video views.
When comparing the version of the "Gangnam Style" video that has more sex appeal (the main girl Hyuna is singing more of the song) with the one that has more humor (Psy sings the majority), humor takes the cake. Adding sex appeal to a video is important, but it should always take second place to humor.
Throughout the video there are many signs of class and luxury. Psy is always wearing sunglasses and, aside from when he's in a pool or the sauna, a suit.
Showing an audience class and quality in a video is important in reflecting the class and quality of a business. People want to live a life of luxury, so show them what they want, show them how being associated with a business can help them get to that life.
Call to Action Links
Knowing when and where to place call to action links is important. The natural way a person native to the English language will look at something is from left to right. Makes sense right – it's the way English is written.
The most valuable link should be both at the beginning of the video in the top left corner, and at the end of the video on the top right corner.
“Gangnam Style” places their call to action links accordingly. The first link is a direct link to download their song on iTunes. This is paired with a link below it on the right side to subscribe to their channel.
The end of the video (before the extras) has two subscription links on the top right side. After the extras they again have their most important call to action link in the top right corner, to download their song.
Title and Description
Keep it simple and to the point. Use keywords that are already popular in a specific target market (“Gangnam Style” used Psy in the title because he is already a great Korean Pop artist, driving them more traffic).
In the description, link to areas where people can find out more about the video and what it offers. Link to a company website, a Wikipedia page, more videos of the same genre, etc.
Make sure to give the audience enough information so they don't go looking elsewhere for details on the video. Make the description a one-stop-shop for all the info they are looking for.
“Gangnam Style” is such a revolutionary video because it puts humor and fun into a portrayal of Korea, a country that is usually characterized as being professional, hard-working, and talented. Psy is basically making fun of himself, and this is the element of the video that makes it so compelling.
Many times business videos are taken too seriously! All they need is a little “Gangnam Style” to spice them up and make them come to life.