December 21, 2012 / by DannyS

Psy, the Korean singer/rapper, has hit a major milestone in not only his digital efforts, but in the efforts of his entire career. Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, Park Jae-sang, otherwise known as Psy has hit ONE. BILLION. VIEWS on Youtube! On the same day that the world was supposed to end, nonetheless.

The Numbers Behind 1 Billion Served

To clarify, that’s over 8,000 people watching it every minute for an entire year!

This is a marvelous feat, regardless of medium, digital or traditional. To get that many eyeballs willing to view your content is unprecedented. Previously, Justin Bieber’s Baby was the leader for all time views, but Gangnam Style blew it out of the water.

How Did Psy Beat the Biebs?

One could argue, if you give the fans/consumers exactly what they want, then you will gain views. However, Justin Bieber did that. He may be from Canada, but his roots are YouTube. He used leveraged YouTube to capitalize on what the people wanted. So that that argument won’t hold up.

I believe Psy’s personality is what truly sells this video. No offense to Justin, but in the American/English pop tart world, where perfectly coifed hair and photoshopped bodies are the rage, Psy brings something new.

Consider marketing, before the digital revolution we were sold an image and forced to consume it through MTV, VH1 or the other many points of consumption. However, today it’s different. The digital world stepped up and equalized the playing field and Psy is the perfect face for today’s digital revolution. He’s unique, he sings in another language, for lack of a better metaphor, he is not the Ken doll dressed in Abercrombie that we have become accustomed to. He’s more average than he is superstar.

Psy is seemingly able to cross many demographics because you don’t know whether to take him serious or not. I wonder if he even knows whether to take himself serious… one thing is for sure, the dude knows what fun is and he is having it. The entire Gangnam Style video has the potential for about 4,000+ internet memes. Brands take note, people like it when you have fun, it creates fun in their own lives.

With Your Business Channel Psy in a World of Pop Tarts

With so many brands attempting to push their prototypical pop tart message (You know what I am talking about… the traditional one-way blah blah blah, with the synonymous physical appearance and matching bullshit bubblegum personality), Psy defies such standards and proves that the brand that knows how to have some fun, can win an audience.  Great examples of brands that know how to have fun and create a positive ROI are Southwest Airlines, Taco Bell, Old Spice and Red Bull.

If you continue with a traditional, one-way message, you will begin to feel the burn. Customers are willing to interact with the Psys of the world, but they won’t continue to consume the force fed perfectly crafted poptart message. In fact, the consumers talk about it. Yet, more brands want to defy said awesome information.

I truly believe that today’s consumers like to see a little flaw, those imperfections, that most brands try to bury deep and act as if they had never happened. If the brands are willing to accept these flaws and have a little fun, maybe they can get Psy like views. Actually, probably not, the dude set a benchmark that will be very difficult to hit, but at least deliver truly captivating and engaging content and experiences to the consumer and you will pull in a substantial ROI.

Danny Schotthoefer is the digital strategist/community manager at an advertising agency in Bozeman, Montana. He is also a TEDx event organizer and an avid Oregon Ducks and Portland Trailblazers fan. You can also find him running via Nike+ and cycling via Strava – he is highly social. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn. Forewarning: He Talks A LOT!

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