Lessons from Psy on how to follow up a success with success.
By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar
No doubt you’ve been in a state of suspenseful anticipation, eager to lay eyes / ears on Psy’s follow up to his massive global hit Gangnam Style. Well folks, it has arrived. Gentleman was released this week and, thanks to curious viewers like you, it is already breaking records, hitting 100 million views in 3 days (Gangnam Style took 44 days to reach this milestone).
The Wall Street Journal predicts it will hit 12.6 billion views in less than 3 months.
We get the curiosity, we were one of those 100 million hits. But we don’t get the video. It’s rude, weird, gross, misogynistic ….oh wait, that sounds like any video from the Billboard Hot 100. But Psy took over the world with a kitschy, oddball, very catchy video that had 5 and 85 year olds alike throwing down the invisible horse dance. So why did Psy choose to go in this direction for his follow up? Was it a shrewd, calculated move to target young viewers, to give himself a bit of edge? (His manager is after all Scooter Braun who didn’t make Justin Bieber rich and famous through bad decisions). Or are we seeing a classic case of gimmicks replacing creativity? Maybe we’re missing something here, maybe he’s satirizing those other videos. Regardless, we believe if your brand is a success and is asked to the table for Act II you must be major league. Sure Psy may be simplifying things to win with a specific target. But we say you don’t need to go down market to win fans.
As we did with the Biebs (hey, we’ve still got time for that prediction to come true) we predict Psy Act III will be a flop.