The story behind NASA’s giant (dance) step – GANGNAM STYLE

After being “hooked” into watching a quirky NASA parody of Gangnam style – I was curious to find out the story behind the video.


Here’s my original post:

A powerful way to hook attention (NASA style)

The video seemed to have to co-operation of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and I was curious – why did NASA do this?

Apparently, it was the idea of interns at the JSC as a “video outreach project” to boost awareness of the work JSC does – and for the message to go out BEYOND the usual NASA space geeky fan audience (and that geeky space fan audience would include me).

Those creative interns wanted to do something more engaging that a standard educational and promotional video.  They were inspired by the most successful video sensation – Gangnam style.

One intern wrote the lyrics to the beat of Gangnam style. Another intern, Eric Sim, (who I guess most resembled PSY and who could sing and dance) performed the song. Other interns who were talented as camera people and editors put it all together – and released it a few days ago.

Even “real” astronauts and NASA scientists and staff got involved in the project.

So far the video has scored more than half a million views in just a few days.

Gangnam style has inspired hundreds of parodies and I’ve seen lots of them. This NASA version is exceptional for its production value and, for me, the surprising and creative combination of NASA and Gangnam style.

I have to watch it again to see all the NASA hardware – and mission control.

Now that’s the benefit of a creative approach.

For more details – the video project has scored lots of coverage in various media.

Through “researching” the NASA parody I was delighted to find a galaxy of wonderful geeky publications such as Geek News Central:

And here’s a pithy and with piece from CRAVE: I like this because it describes exactly how I felt. I was so “OVER” Gangnam style – but I was impressed with the creative pairing of NASA and Gangnam style. There also seems to be  lot of sincere fun and passion in the video.

Here’s what  Michelle Starr wrote in CRAVE…

Adorably, NASA has leapt onto the Gangnam parody train well after it has left the station, and done a seriously bang-up job.

Gangnam Style is officially over. We knew it was officially over quite some time ago, when we saw Psy on the cover of Woman’s Day. “Gangnam star’s wedding photos!” ran the tagline.

We’d like, therefore, to think of this parody by the NASA Johnson Space Center as a sort of swan song for the phenomenon: fantastically dorky, wonderfully science-y and a rocket load of fun.

The Johnson Space Centre is NASA’s centre for training, research and flight control, where NASA runs internships and programs for students, and the video was created to educate the public about what the centre does.

Highlights include an astronaut dancing awkwardly in a space suit — not because she’s a bad dancer, but because those things weren’t built for dancing — appearances by astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Mike Massimino and Clay Anderson; rocket launches; and scientists and researchers getting their groove on.

In an earlier post (before people were totally sick of Gangnam style) I wrote about what we could all learn from the video about hooking attention.

Lessons from Gangnam Style on how YOU can hook attention for your messages

So who is writing this?

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

I can also help you improve your presentations and business writing.

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.

You can contact me on    or on Linked In or Facebook. Tony is of course short for Anthony .

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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