Viral By Design - Rob Norman-GroupM

By GroupM Archives
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On Black Friday the PSY hit 'Gangnam Style' video passed Justin Bieber's 'Baby' as the most watched ever on YouTube and is on its way to be the first to a billion views.

Not many of us thought that a South Korean song would own that distinction but not many of us had really thought about how virality could be executed with such distinction.

Gangnam style is a demonstration of Metcalfe's Law in action. Metcalfe's Law states in the context of telecommunications that the value of a network is the square of its nodes.

So what are the nodes of Gangnam Style? First of course there is PSY himself 6 studio albums into a stellar career including a drug bust and a ban on sales to under 19s in South Korea of Sa2, his second album.

Second, a cast of celebrity entertainers from comedians to a Korea's Got Talent contestant, each of whom had their own networks of followers

Third, the K-pop school, the first global music trend to emerge from South East Asia that has created huge network effects among the Asian youth diaspora around the world. K-pop has its own Billboard chart and YouTube channel.

Finally Gangnam Style is the network beneficiary of parody from sources as diverse as thousands of kids and the cast of Glee.

So there you have it. Engaging, participatory, high parody potential pure entertainment built on a mix of multiple celebrities and notoriety in a rapidly growing genre beloved by a highly social audience.

Why didn't the Romney campaign think of that?

Rob Norman is Chief Digital Officer Global of GroupM. Rob’s principle tasks are developing the interaction organization within GroupM, developing positioning and thought leadership and leading the interaction contribution to business development. You can reach Rob at @robnorman or

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