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imedia consulting hall of fame mvp psy gangnam style two billion views

Psy - Gangnam Style

Two billion views.

Yes, you read that right, billion -- two billion views.

Released on July 15, 2012, "Gangnam Style" was the first video to break the one billion views mark, doing so on December 21, 2012 (The other video with one billion views? Justin Beiber's "Baby").

On April 6, 2013, the video had racked up 1.5 billion views (and a Super Bowl Commercial for Wonderful Pistachios back in February of that year). Then a little more than a year later, on June 1, 2014, "Gangnam Style" reached an unprecedented two billion views. And the number continues to grow.
imedia consulting hall of fame mvp Psy Gangnam Style - music video still
The title of the track, "Gangnam Style" is a reference to the Gangnam District of Seoul, South Korea. People who live there tend to be affluent, "trendy, hip and exude a certain supposed 'class'" (Wikipedia, "Gangnam Style"). Psy himself has compared the area to Beverly Hills, California (Wikipedia, "Gangnam Style").

The video that has inspired countless parodies is itself intended to be humorous, with Psy saying in a interview "that he intended in a twisted sense of humor by claiming himself to be "Gangnam Style" when everything about the song, dance, looks, and the music video is far from being such a high class (Wikipedia, "Gangham Style").
imedia consulting hall of fame mvp Psy Gangnam Style wonderful pistachios commercial still
The infectious track that defined the summer of 2012 almost wasn't to be. The song was originally only meant for local K-pop (Korean Pop) music fans. But after he and his label YG Entertainment released teaser videos to their subscribers on YouTube, the decision was made to upload the full song to YouTube on July 15th. From there, the song took off and never looked back, reaching half-a-million views on day one (Wikipedia, "Gangham Style").

Psy and "Gangham Style" hit the viral video trifecta -- it was unique, it was catchy and it was spreadable. Psy caught lightning in a bottle, create a piece of content that was instantly spreadable and sticky – people are apt to share it and people remember it. The typical average person likely had never heard of Psy nor K-pop -- it was something new and different. The song itself was catchy and to borrow a line from American Bandstand - It's got a good beat and you can dance to it (it even came with its own dance). And the video was easily shared -- viewers sent links to the video to people they knew, sharing this new, unusal yet catchy song.

So, for capturing what viral is so completely that we here at The iMedia Playbook now refer to viral content and viral marketing as "Gangnam Style" and for capturing 'lightning in a bottle' (one of, if not, the most difficult thing to do when it comes to iMedia), The iMedia Playbook is proud to name Psy and his song "Gangnam Style" the fourth recipients of the honor iMedia Hall of Fame MVP.