Gangnam Style

Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

I recently presented at a conference and used the “Gangnam Style” video as a prop. When I asked how many people had seen the video, I got only a few show of hands. Shocking, given that over 400 MILLION people have viewed the video and endured the hypnotic riff that gets stuck in your head for days. Never mind the dance moves (which I also debuted in front of a room full of financial services guys…gotta keep ‘em awake somehow :).)

Today, I read an article on Bloomberg News that pointed to an awesome picture (to the left) of Korean rapper, Psy the star of the video, teaching Red Bull Racing drivers, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, the Gangnam Style dance in the paddock before the Korean Formula One Grand Prix in South Korea. Beyond the awesomeness of how this video has gone wildly viral in a matter of weeks, is the fact that the success of the video is now being attributed to the almost 500 percent rally in shares of DI Corp. since mid-July.

Why? Apparently, there is a father-son connection to the “Gangnam Style” music video. The star of the video, also known as Psy, is offspring to Park Won Ho, the chairman of DI, which makes semiconductor-testing equipment for big time clients including Samsung Electronics. This chart says it all and links the success of the video to the success of the stock. It seems almost ridiculous that a

Korean rap video could influence the stock of a company in such a significant way but this seems to be a perfect case of perception being made into reality.

c/o Bloomberg Finance

The article also mentions how the stock of a popular Korean liquor jumped by more than 50% since the song was released because Psy sipped the drink during the video. Thanks to appearances on the Ellen Show, Today Show and catching on like wildfire, one crazy Korean video has created a pretty darn lucrative business position for a variety of brands, including a musician we had never heard over. Fascinating. Oh, I forgot to mention, that in my presentation to the room of financial services people, the reason I used this video as a prop was to make the point that less than 1% of videos actually go viral. Having an overnight success is kind of like a free lunch. It’s awesome when it happens, but most of the time you have to pay your own way.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts about how a video gone viral can affect a stock price, a brand’s recognition, a pop-star’s rise to fame. What do you think?

Go forth Gangnam style…

Leave a Reply