- Tastemakers: These are people who share or tweet about a video if they find it interesting, funny or anything out of the ordinary. Now this could also be done by normal people like you and me. But the tastemakers are influencers. They are people who have achieved celebrity status or it’s just that their opinion matters to most people. Once any one of the influential lot share, mention or tweet about a video, link or image, their followers are most likely to check it out and well, re-tweet or share the same. In the Gangnam Style video, the Tastemaker was T-Pain who first tweeted about the video on July 29th. So you see, one big influencer there.
- Community Sharing: As traditional marketing goes, we have thought/opinion leaders who are looked up to by fans and followers alike. Hence once the influencer has put his/her thoughts on the wire, other people are bound to notice. When the idea becomes popular within the community which could include more influencers, you’re bound to see an exponential rise in views. For Gangnam, post T-Pains tweet popular blog Gawker put up a post and subsequently personalities from pop culture tweeted about it too. These weren’t strung out kids in a low key indie college rock band. Instead they were celebs such as Katy Perry, Tom Cruise, Robbie Williams and the likes.
- Unexpectedness: This I believe is one of the strongest parameters to a video going viral. PSY apart from being an underground hip-hop artist on the K-Pop circuit, has taken on the great social divide in Korea. Gangnam actually means “South of the River”. While Korea has been late to join the affluent mass with infrastructure that towers and tech that has finally come of age, the gap between the rich and poor has only widened. So Gangnam being the business district there which boasts of luxuries, is where every yuppie in Korea wants to be at. This is exactly what PSY is running this cultural parody about. The song is totally about wannabes or wanted-to-be’s as some refer to them as. People who really have no clue about the upper crest way of life but are desperate to pull off stints of that magnitude and have no qualms in being posers. The sarcastic yet funny approach that taken was something unexpected.
Add to these the fact that there have been flash mobs in games to Times Square (for Good Morning America) to a Jail as well. While PSY rides on the path to glory with appearances in SNL, Today Show and every major broadcaster across the globe writing or anchoring about it to Eric Schmidt doing the Gangnam at Google office in Korea, you sure as well now know what’s got it all going.