Sigh! What makes Gangnam Style and Kolaveri Di such a rage?

17 Oct,2012

Photograph courtesy: Music channel M-Tunes which had premiered Psy’s Gangnam Style earlier this month


By Tuhina Anand


Who would have thought that a rather stocky looking guy mouthing Korean lines would have become a rage around the world? Gangnam Style by South Korean rapper Psy has become a viral hit just like Kolaveri Di which took the digital world by storm. Last, Gangnam Style had 474,915,766 views since being uploaded in July 2012 while Kolaveri Di has 62,798,000 views since it was uploaded in November 2011. The popularity of Gangnam surpasses that of Kolaveri, and it is digital that has played the key role in the video becoming such a rage. How is it that some videos catch the fancy and become such huge hits, whereas others just die out eventually? Dhanush’s Kolaveri Di was such a rage but his next video where he pays tribute to Sachin… errrrr what is it anyway… did not match up to the success of Kolaveri even though it is about a cricketing legend that the nation is crazy about.


Rahul Nanda

Rahul Nanda, COO at Webchutney, explained, “There is no science that can work out a formula for the success of a viral. I think it depends on the quality of content.” Giving a peek into creating a viral he pointed that one should stick to the basics and remember that content is always the king. He added, “Gangnam Style video doesn’t really feature a handsome hero but the dancing catches the eye. It is then essentially about providing that hook which could be humour or having an emotional connect which has the potential of catching viral and being shared by people. Also to keep in mind is that what catches peoples’ attention is usually something that is simple and easy to understand.”


A Kolaveri Di could not have been such a hit had it just been an audio. The video which captures behind-the-scene moments while recording the song makes it extremely delightful to watch, it shows fun while making the song which many enjoy watching. Similarly, if Gangnam Style was just a song it would probably not be so popular, but the video element adds to the song thus making it extremely watchable and shareable.


Rajiv Dingra

Rajiv Dingra, CEO of categorically puts that going viral and a hit depends on two factors- it should be unexpected and original. People would want to watch and share only if there is an element of surprise like in Gangnam Style the dance moves and in Kolaveri Di the lyrics. There has to be a surprise element, besides of course the content has to be original. He adds, “The content while being original should allow people to create their own versions thus giving people a sense of identification.” This definitely happened in the case of Kolaveri considering the various versions that came out and they too enjoy a decent number of views.



Zafar Rais

On the success of Kolaveri Di or Gangnam style, Zafar Rais, Founder and CEO, Mindshift Interactive, said, “Kolaveri Di owes 80 percent of its success to the entertaining content it brought along. That is the element most brands forget in wanting to create the next ‘viral’ concept. An agency does have the capability to use the right strategies in increasing visibility to help you reach out, but without an insightful approach towards the content apt for your consumers, you just won’t make it. Humour, music and emotions are the key riders of all viral marketing efforts. Likewise, for the Gangnam style of dancing. Additionally, originality and unexpectedness are the superpowers in the viral race. It’s time for simple ideas to take over big ideas, Beyond One Language: strengthening the concept that regional innovations with a mix of global touches, does add to the concept. If it’s funny, it got to be viral and youth connect: connecting with the youth via their daily experiences in their diction is the key.”


One cannot overlook the role of professional players in making a viral gain epic proportion. Like in the case of Gangnam which has been around for 6-8 months but gained popularity only once Sony Music took over its distribution and splashed it across various networks to garner better mileage.


Same was also the case with Kolaveri Di too which Sony Music and the agency Jack in the Box Worldwide worked on to devise its viral strategy.


Carlton D’Silva

Carlton D’Silva, Chief Creative Officer at Hungama Digital Media Entertainment also pointed that the ridiculous nature of the video is what has helped in making Gangnam popular. He said, “I have seen that humour though not the only factor but is an important driving factor when essaying out a viral campaign. It’s not necessary to just bank on humour to make inroads into the digital medium and reaching the consumers. However, humour works well on the internet medium.” He also cites the example of Johnnie Walker F1 campaign where they put videos of behind the scenes which has caught on well on viral and this doesn’t necessarily stick to taking the humorous approach.


Arvind Nair, Business Head, Social Wavelength echoes the humour element that all the digital players have expressed. However, he added, “It has to do with creating content that cut across all type of people. However, there have been brands who have experienced great success on digital by taking the route of a cause. Aircel with Save the Tiger campaign has done it successfully and has sustained it for long thus becoming relatable with this cause and also a viral hit.”


So it is clear that original with a surprise element does best for going viral. Humour is the best route but not the only route when brands want to go viral. Keep in mind though that it is always the content that rules.


Post a Comment 

2 responses to “Sigh! What makes Gangnam Style and Kolaveri Di such a rage?”

  1. Subhranginee says:


Today's Top Stories