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Hey Sexy Lady! Big Brands Go Gangnam Style

Peter Claridge

Unmetric's Gangnam Style InfographicWe’re sorry. We truly are. We know that you have spent the last four months riding on the back of a virtual horse while throwing the lasso, but in the famous words of Henry V, “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.” And once more I’m going to bring up Gangnam Style.

This infographic was first published a few weeks back on Mashable, where it gained over 1,400 shares (modesty is our middle name). The infographic was created in conjunction with the awesome guys over at the Shorty Awards, the biggest industry event that celebrates social media wins (and fails) and crowns the winners at a glittering event in New York. Think of it as the Oscars for social media, but with far more interesting people walking down that red carpet.

Incidentally, Unmetric is sponsoring the award for the Best Social Media Manager, so if you think you know someone who should be nominated (or perhaps self-nominated?), point them to the nominations page here. Seriously, imagine how proud your Mom will be if you won. She still won’t get what you do, but she can tell all her friends that you got awarded for working on that Facebook thing (which is what my Mom tells everyone. About Facebook, not winning an award).

So here it is, in its full glory, Unmetric & Shorty Awards present to you: Big Brands Going Gangnam Style.

Big Brands Go Gangnam Style

A feast for the eyes, huh?

Check out what Jennifer Lashua, Global Social Media Strategist at Intel, the clear winner of big brand Gangnam Style, had to say about their efforts…

“I’m with our Social Media Center of Excellence, managing a team of Social Media Strategists who focus on our social publishing and community engagement. My team is responsible for our daily posts & tweets and the day to day operation and editorial strategy of our global social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. We are part of a broader team, Integrated Media, which also has teams responsible for Paid Media, Content Strategy, and Analytics/Metrics as well as our iQ social publishing platform (iq.intel.com).

We started to notice a bubbling up of interest around the Gangnam Style video about a week before we published our image. At this time, it was really an international craze, and hadn’t quite hit the US yet. We developed the creative, and held off on publishing it until we were sure it was going to be relevant to the majority of our US and international audiences. In addition to the post’s success on Facebook, we tweeted the image and it’s been our highest performing tweet to date. I think it worked for us, specifically, because we integrated our brand into the visual in a way that made our fans feel like they were participating in the experience.

I’ve given a good amount of thought as to why the video and meme have become so successful. I think it comes down to some of the basics of social content – it’s highly entertaining, it’s a bit aspirational, it’s sharable, and easily consumed. It’s really unique, too – something that appeals to a wide variety of audiences but is also something that’s not like anything they’ve ever seen before – it’s captivating in that way. So, it’s not a huge surprise that it became the enormous hit that it did!”

We also got a quote from Karthik Srinivasan, Corporate Communications at Flipkart.com (very popular e-Commerce site in India), here’s what he had to say:

One of our content buckets is to use topical trends and do a Flipkart’ish play on them. We do this pretty regularly for important days of the year and Gangnam Style was as topical as it could get. Our play was to connect it with Flipkart in some way – so the backdrop of a delivery guy and the word play on ‘open’ from ‘oppa’ to indicate opening a package.

It worked very well for us from an engagement point of view, not just on Facebook, but also on Twitter. For Twitter, we avoided using the design’s headline, as people may see it twice (once in the tweet and again in the pic) – so, we again connected it to denote something specifically about us. That curiosity helped us get better reach on Twitter too.

Finally, the guys over at the Shorty Awards managed to bag a couple of interviews with two other brands that featured on the infographic, Sharpie and Virgin Media. Head over to the Shorty blog to get the behind the scenes details on how these brands decided to capitalize on the Gangnam Style trend. The full Sharpie interview is here and the Virgin Media interview can be found here.

OK guys, please believe us. No more Gangnam Style from Unmetric. Ever. We pinky promise.


All data has been compiled and analyzed from the Unmetric application which tracks dozens of metrics to enable brands to benchmark themselves against competitors and their industry sector. Gain access to all this data by claiming a 10 day free trial.