Cashing in Gangnam Style: Halloween costumes, fashion ... fries?
Really, we’re surprised it didn’t happen sooner, the flood of entrepreneurs and experts trying to cash in on the explosive popularity of “Gangnam Style.”
The unavoidably catchy song and peppy video from South Korean performer Psy has translated into the usual influx of branded T-shirts and mugs. But “Gangnam Style” logos and images of the goofy horse-ride dance are also being plastered on French fries, new clothing lines, Halloween costumes and the Harvard Business Review website.
South Korean semiconductor company D I Corp. got a huge stock boost from the song, surging about $101 million, according to Reuters. The firm’s chairman and controlling shareholder is Psy’s father, Park Won-ho.
Party City said it has costume accessories in stock to pull off a “Gangnam Style” costume.
“We expect this to be a HUGE costume trend this year,” spokeswoman Ressa Tomkiewicz wrote in an email.
The song has been viewed more than 274 million times on YouTube.
On Reddit, users are dissecting a photo of a McDonald’s bag featuring “McShaker” fries and a pictorial explaining how to use the Psy dance to shake salt onto the potato strips.
According to a translation on the social news site, the instructions ask patrons to pour fries and a “shaker” packet into the bag, perform the “Gangnam Style” dance and then watch the fries “explode out of the bag due to potential energy stored from step 2.”
No word yet from McDonald’s corporate headquarters on whether the product is real. We’re not holding our breath.
Designer Jill Stuart is reportedly collaborating with Psy on a “Gangnam Style” clothing line, according to the Fashionista blog. The collection won’t be part of Stuart’s official offerings and will only be available in Asia, a representative for the designer told the blog.
A YouTube video posted Monday to the JILLSTUART NY account (which was opened last week in South Korea) shows Psy dancing on a catwalk and in front of a Jill Stuart New York logo. See the video below.
A blog post from the Harvard Business Review discusses “takeaways that companies can apply to their brands and products.” The song intentionally went without a copyright so that its popularity could spread through parodies, according to the post. It tapped into widespread anti-materialism sentiments to broaden its appeal during an economic downturn.
“In the end, ‘Gangnam Style’ may turn out to be a one-hit wonder,” according to author Dae Ryun Chang. “But by emulating the reasons for its success, businesses can become hit-generating machines.”
Quick, someone start selling “Call Me Maybe” business cards.