How to spread your message – Gangnam Style – Communication lessons from the world-wide sensation

Even if you are sick of Gangnam Style – you can still learn valuable lessons from it on how to spread your message.

1. Appeal to Vision  – our dominant sense

If you just heard this song (the sound of the song) – it wouldn’t be as appealing. It is the visuals – the funny dance moves – that make the song stand out and hook our attention. Hook the eye and the heart will follow.

2. Use Contrast and Novelty . Seeing good-looking dancers dancing well in videos is so common, it rarely gets attention – unless the dancing is incredibly good.  Seeing this no-so-attractive (not so star-like) performer dancing is unusual and novel and there is contrast in what we expect from videos and what we see in this one.

Also, remember Susan Boyle singing? – the not-so-beautiful middle-aged singer with the beautiful voice. Once again, seeing good-looking, slick performers singing well is not unusual. It was the contrast between what we expected (from the initial visual impression of her) and the beautiful voice we heard that enthralled audiences and made them want to watch and share the video of her performing.

3Be Original – the first to do something. It was original for the mainstream audience. Apparently, PSY has done dances like this before – but for the wider, mainstream audience his moves seemed original – people hadn’t seen the moves before.

4. Make your “moves” easy to duplicate – the appeal of the dance is that it is relatively easy to copy.

5, Make your “moves” fun to do. The silly dance is not just easy, it’s fun to do and fun to watch.

6Move fast – before it gets over-exposed and people get sick of it!

So how can you use these “lessons” to spread you message?


Let’s just say you want to spread a message about sun safety – with summer approaching in Australia. Sun safety is important – but often serious and not FUN.

Make it visual, fun, easy to duplicate and use contrast and novelty.

Something just off the top of my head:

Use video in an engaging way that hooks the eye. Imagine a big sombrero (very unglamorous – one of those cheap floppy straw ones) seen from above. You don’t know who is under it – then reveal  a famous (preferably cool) sporting hero or heroine who takes sun safety seriously.

Then with another reveal – a young celebrity (young people are not usually as concerned about their sun protection)  This is the contrast and novelty – unusual images e.g. big sombrero on top of a helmet of a “tough” bikie type – or on a serious police officer directing traffic (the contrast between the silliness of the sombrero and the seriousness of the wearer – you could always dissolve to the proper hat they should be wearing!)

Sombreros against iconic Australian scenery – usually you don’t seen sombreros in Australia – except at sporting events like the cricket!

Set up a social media site and encourage people to send/share their own images of them in big, cheap sombreros – cheap and easy for people to duplicate.

Encourage people (through competitions) to create their own fun slogans and maybe even fun “dance moves” for sun safety.

Imagine applying sunscreen – Macarena style!

There’s something fun about sombreros!

Make it fun and easy to spread! The message – not just the sunscreen!

Anyway, that’s just a quick example. I must go – and practice my Gangnam style moves!

Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti and I can help you hook attention with lots of tips from everyday life for hooking attention in everyday situations.

I can share with you practical and easy-to-apply tips I’ve gathered over many years working as a:

  • TV journalist
  • political speechwriter
  • lawyer
  • blogger
  • musician and performer
  • coach and trainer in persuasionpositive messagespresenting and better e-mail and business writing.

I’m also a very busy dad and husband juggling my work and travel with family life and our two wonderful kids – Orlando and Cleo.


About doubleshot media

Hi, I'm a lawyer turned journalist/speechwriter/presentation coach - combining business experience with personal passions for music and writing to blog about persuasion, retro, music, and even business lessons from theatre and performing
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