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Marketing Gangnam Style
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Marketing Gangnam Style

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I am a digitally-minded strategist at HyperNaked, (the coming together of Hyper Happen and Naked). In this presentation I share my thoughts on my latest pursuit: 'Gangnam Style' Marketing.

I am a digitally-minded strategist at HyperNaked, (the coming together of Hyper Happen and Naked). In this presentation I share my thoughts on my latest pursuit: 'Gangnam Style' Marketing.


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  • IntroductionBrilliant speakers here tonight .As you can see from the somewhat ridiculous picture behind me, I’ve taken a slightly different take on tonight's theme. I’ve been thinking about how we as marketers can be more disruptive, taking inspiration from none other than Gangnam Style – which is arguably the most disruptive piece of communication of our time.
  • From K-pop star to global phenomenon1.5 BillionUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, I’m sure you are all aware by now that Gangnam Style is the first video ever in the history of the Internet to reach and surpass one billion views. Sorry to any beliebers in the house. 27 CountriesIt has topped the charts in 27 countries making it one of the most popular global songs ever, despite the fact the song is almost entirely sung in Korean. Apart from Hey Sexy Ladies of course…£5 MillionAnd according to Google, Psy has racked up £5 million in ad revenue – and that’s just ad revenue alone.
  • Voted most disruptive innovation 2012And to cement Psy’s reputation as a global phenomenon, Gangnam Style won the most disruptive innovation in the ‘phenomenon’ category at the Tribeca Film Festival.
  • 3 waysSo given his global phenomenon status, I’ve been exploring some of reasons behind his success. And given I’ve got 10 minutes with you sexy ladies, I’m just going to talk about 3…
  • The Underdog EffectOne of the greatest appeal of gangnam style is not the song, but Psy and his underdog status as a slightly chubby pot-smoker who avoided his country’s military service.. I think the Times nails it perfectly when they say, and I quote…he looks like a bank manager, sounds like a failed Eurovision contestant, and has the dance moves of a Cbeebie presenter. He is the ultimate anti-pop star.
  • Underdogs capture hearts and mindsEveryone loves an underdog, it’s psychologically proven – but this doesn’t just apply to pop stars. Underdog stories have captured the hearts and minds of consumers all around the world. They are the champions in political polls, on the book shelves, at the movies, and on reality TV. And for brands with a plausible underdog story to tell, the has never been better…
  • Underdogs win recessionsIn a nutshell, underdog stories win in recessions. Underdogs are even more appealing during difficult times, because we all tend to feel like underdogs ourselves when circumstances in our lives become difficult. People can have really powerful emotions for underdogs because they inspire us to pursue our own goals and not to give up on our hopes and dreams. When an underdog like Psy succeeds, we feel like we can succeed to meet the challenges in our own lives.
  • Underdogs seek justice in the worldGenerally speaking, people don’t like inequality. It has a lot to do with the fact that as human beings we seek justice in the world. Social justice is at the heart of Ben and Jerry’s core values. This dates back to 1993 when they widened their company benefits to recognise gay unmarried partners, a big deal at the time apparently. These days, they changed the name of Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby in 2009 to celebrate the legalisation of gay marriage in their home town of Vermont. And when the UK government were debating gay rights in the UK, they changed the name of their apply pie ice-cream to apple-y-ever after. Deliciously good stuff…
  • Underdogs are people like usUnderdogs are people we can relate to; they’re unpolished and authentic. Dove tapped into this perfectly with their campaign for real beauty. Because it champions real women like us.
  • http://sellsellblog.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/advertising-greatness-2-avis.htmlIn the '50s, Avis was doing pretty badly. By 1962, with more than a decade of losses, the new president, Robert C. Townsend (no relation to Pete), set out to hire DDB, who, at the time, was renowned for their forward-thinking approach to advertising and marketing.

In a move that would have been unheard of today, DDB's president suggested to Avis that they start getting their act together, as he saw advertising for the company as "making good advertising for a bad product." Then DDB went to work studying the ins and outs of Avis' operations. The art director of DDB, Helmut Krone, in collaboration with copy-writer Paula Green used a reply during the initial meetings between DDB and Avis. When asked why anyone rents a car from Avis, the reply received was that "we try harder, because we have to." With this straightforward and no-punches pulled message, DDB had crystallized the turnaround of Avis.

And a turnaround it was. Within one year, Avis went from being $3.2 million in the red to $1.2 million in the black.
  • Underdogs don’t try to please everyoneBut most interestingly, underdogs don’t actually care what other people think of them, and they certainly don’t try to please everyone. Psy didn’t set out to create a global phenomenon, if he did he wouldn’t have sung the whole thing in Korean, and mocked the district of Seoul. This is a great quote from Bill Cosby which goes…”I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everyone”. Underdogs have an innate internal drive that allows them to transcend criticisms from others. The very fact they don’t try to please everyone, is exactly what attracts us to them. I think these days, especially with social media, brands make the mistake of trying to please everyone – but when you try to please everyone, you only end up being nothing to nobody.
  • Born to spawn (mass participation)One of the key things that makes Gangnam Style such a huge success, is the fact that it is born to spawn mass participation. The video invites everyone to get involved – with easy dance moves that are easy to mimic (like the invisible horse). A dance that has apparently been performed by Obama and Cameron. But what spurred this even further is that Psy waived his copyright. Meaning that anyone could create and share parody's like Eton Style, which only adds to the success of the original.
  • The 1% rule is deadThis participation study from the BBC last year reported that the 1% is now outdated. The old rule dictated that 90% of people online lurk, 9% contribute somewhat, and only 1% make up all of the action. The results of their study show that the number of people actively participating online is like 77%This is probably because it is so easy and natural for us to participate these days, with everyday participation activities like liking and sharing.
  • Participatory culture has disrupted societyAnd if you don’t believe the BBC study, this picture sums it up just perfectly. The photos compare the announcement of the Pope in 2005 versus 2013 – it speaks volumes about the changes the world is experiencing today.
  • Avoid digital landfillBecause of all this brands are looking to find ways to get consumers to participate in their communications. But just because we can participate, doesn’t mean we will. Brands need scale, and to do that they need to create something of value in culture . These campaigns are giving participation a bad name.
  • Joyville MadeCadbury surrendered control of their famous chocolate bar. The site allows people to design and send a customised bar to their friends and family.An idea that not only has scale, but longevity and a revenue stream.
  • Share a CokeAnother campaign which has achieved participation on a mass scale is the Share a Coke campaign from Aus. Coke replaced branding with people’s names, and invited consumers to share virtual coke’s and even customize coke cans. A campaign that has been phenomenally successful in terms of both participation and sales.
  • Radiohead pay what you wantA few years ago Radiohead famously invited consumers to pay what they wanted for their album.
  • Experiment to innovateThe third point I want to briefly touch on is experimentation. You may not know that Gangnam Style is just one single from Psy’s sixth album. As he said in a recent talk at blach, he said “I tried an elephant, monkey, and kangaroo before the horse dance.
  • Google – perpetual state of betaA brand that famously experiments in public is Google. Google regularly launch things in a trial state (Gmail was in fact in beta for five long years). They call this a perpetual state of BETA. This shift from the “we know best” mindset to the perpetual beta mindset is spreading, and prototyping in public is everywhere. Digital campaigns were once perfected and polished before they were released to the world. With the beta mindset, digital is unfinished, experimental, iterative, and never complete.
  • Family Wellbeing IndexBeta mindset not limited to k pop and google. Powered by Actimel, HyperNaked recently launched the Family Wellbeing Index – the first way of measuring Family Wellbeing online. Due to the uncertainty of the challenge, we launched the site in BETA – spending the first five month testing and optimising the site in real time.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Marketing „Gangnam Style‟Presentation for She Says (Hey, sexy ladies…)@diginic NicolaDavies.me
    • 2. From K-pop star to global phenomenon 1.5 27 £5 Billion views Number of Million in ad on YouTube countries no 1 revenueSources: Google, Official Charts
    • 3. Voted most disruptive innovation 2012
    • 4. 3Lessons indisruptionfrom Psy…
    • 5. #1 The Underdog Effect“He looks like a bank manager, sounds like a failedEurovision contestant, and has the dance moves of aCBeebies presenter.”– The Times
    • 6. Underdogs stories capture hearts and mindsUnderdog Underdog Underdogpoliticians characters reality stars
    • 7. “Underdog stories are particularly resonant duringdifficult times as they inspire us and give us hope whenthe outlook we face is bleak.”- European Business Review
    • 8. Underdogs seek justice in the worldBen and Jerry‟s support gay marriage
    • 9. Underdogs are people like us Dove fight for real beauty
    • 10. Underdogs scrap with the big guys
    • 11. Underdogs don‟t try to please everyone I don‟t know the key to success. But the key tofailure is trying to please everyone. – Bill Cosby
    • 12. #2 Born to spawn (mass participation) Psy waived all copyrights
    • 13. The 1% rule is deadThe web has created a more participatory consumer
    • 14. Participatory culture has disrupted society
    • 15. The challenge: avoid creating „digital landfill‟
    • 16. Design your own Cadbury Dairy Milk
    • 17. „Share a Coke‟ replaces branding with names
    • 18. Radiohead „pay what you want‟ pricing
    • 19. Born to spawn brandingLondon 2012 – Invitation to take part Ollo – A logo to play with
    • 20. #3 Experiment to innovate “I tried an elephant, monkey and kangaroo before the horse dance”. - Psy
    • 21. “Disrupt yourself before someone else does it you” - Google
    • 22. Family Wellbeing Index powered by ActimelTHE FWI (a new way of measuring family wellbeing) launched in BETA in order to refine and optimize the index in real time, before taking it to the masses
    • 23. #1 Underdog branding#2 Born to spawn (mass participation) #3 Experiment to innovate
    • 24. Thank you… @DiginicNicolaDavies.me

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