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Gangnam Style flipbook is great self-promotion for French artist

31st January 2013

This week my PR highlight comes from an artist, not a PR person. But this cracking bit of self-publicity from a French artist will, I predict, capture the attention of more than the 100,000 people who have already seen this film:

What do we learn from it?

Three things really.

First and foremost, that thanks to Google, the media wants to be on a story that is likely to become a trend. As I write this story, turn to the world’s favourite search engine, type in Gangnam Style Flipbook and the Daily Mail piece will come top of the results.

It’s not unlikely that a news desk decision was made to write about this filmic gem precisely because someone made the judgement call that a LOT of people are likely to be searching for the film and that a Mail story is a generally desirable thing for them to see first.

The unholy alliance between “social” content and campaigns and editorial media is nowhere better illustrated. In a world where every newsdesk needs to drive traffic, the skills of seeding something socially to create a degree of buzz before turning to editorial to report the buzz – which in turns stokes talkability – have never been more valuable.

Secondly that a hook can last a lot longer than sometimes we give it credit for. There have been countless parodies, homage and nods to Psy’s YouTube-busting classic and most of the PR industry has already moved on. But what this shows is that a hook can last long beyond the end of its perceived life span. As long as the take is an original one.

Finally, that signs of commitment and dedication from a real person in the campaigns we create will always trigger admiration, likeability and sharing – as well as editorial value. It’s pretty evident from this clip-ette, that someone with great dedication and love has spent hours creating the content you’ve enjoyed.

Finding a real person who – whether for real or with a spot of massaging – has gone to great trouble to create something worthy of note – will always score higher than a story in which a group of consultants or designers has done the work. Real people, real stories should find their way to the heart of the narratives we put together for our clients.

So there you have it. All that we can learn from a French flipbook artist who will be, I doubt little, an internationally known name for a week by the end of the day.

Which I suppose is the bonus fourth lesson. When you are perusing the news, think about what’s made and how you can learn from it – no matter how unlikely a source of inspiration and education it might at first appear.

James Gordon-MacIntosh is a managing partner at Hope&Glory PR. He’s now working on a book – Ideas of the Year: an incomplete compendium of stunts, stories and japes. He’s looking for submissions, so if you’ve got work that should be included head here. Not least because the deadline’s been extended.

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