Yes, my friends, “Gangnam Style” – the Korean music video and single by South Korean rapper PSY that broke a Guinness World Record (For what, you ask? Besides awesomeness, it has the most ‘likes’ on YouTube ever with 2,141,758.), was spoofed on SNL and birthed countless parodies — will soon be filed under Internet meme nostalgia (right alongside that “Charlie Bit Me” tot).
Just when we were getting tired of over-done spoofs of “Call me, maybe?” (special thanks to the U.S. Olympic swim team for officially killing that one…) this gem comes around.
Between lasso dancing hip thrusts and a red-pant-clad Asian boy who could win a dance-off against Usher, it’s hard to look away.
Must. Learn. Dance.
So what does this tell us about viral video and human beings?
1) We like the over-the-top (why else would we watch things like Real Housewives). We like figurative train wrecks. We like extra doses of social awkwardness. We also like things that tug at our heartstrings. Above all, we like things that make us smile. These components help make a video viral because they are fodder for mainstream outlets (the “changemakers”), thus, fueling them to meme-dom.
2) Add a perky beat and some crazy dance moves, and you’ll have brides and grooms everywhere trying to do copycat reception dances. (Yes, I am getting married soon. No, I will not be doing this…sorry.)
3) (Almost) everyone wants 15 minutes of fame. But what separates the hours and hours of video uploaded to YouTube everyday from those that go viral? According to YouTube’s Trends Manager Kevin Allocca, it’s this: change-makers, communities of participation and unexpectedness.
What do you think makes a video go viral?