Monthly Archives: November 2012

Like Gang(nam) Busters!

This past Saturday the song “Gangnam Style”, recorded by Korean pop star PSY, has become the most watched video on YouTube, overtaking Justin Bieber’s “Baby” which has long held the title.

The Viral Math

Baby by Justin Bieber 

  • Released in 2010
  • Has 805 million views and 1.4 million likes on YouTube

Gangnam Style by PSY

  • Released in July 2012
  • Has 816 million views and 5.4 million likes on YouTube

Gangnam Style is truly a phenomenon. There is no explaining why it is so incredibly popular. There are a few variables we can deconstruct; one of them is good PR.

Music is the universal language, it doesn’t matter what PSY is singing as long as it has a hook. That, it certainly has. The rhythm of the song may be instinctively K-POP but the visuals of the music video are as American as apple pie: explosions, parody and flashy fashion. Aside from wind tunnels and car explosions everything about this video is easy to copy even the dance moves, which I believe is crucial to its success.

So where does good PR come in? The web 2.0 monsters of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook that still has organizations scratching heads is something the PR world had to adapt to quickly. Getting a Korean pop star, hitting his 6th album to become a sensation in the western world overnight could only happen one way. Reaching an audience on the other side of the world has to be done online. The ease of copying this video and the dance moves make it perfect to put online where others can show their own version making the growth of the original video gain mythical status.

Who is the winner in all of this? It’s Scooter Braun. The manager of both Justin Bieber and PSY.

To see the official Gangnam Style video click here.

And Scooter Braun


Don’t Tickle Me Elmo

What happens on Sesame Street doesn’t always stay on Sesame Street. Earlier in the week Sesame Street voice actor and puppeteer Kevin Clash, who has been the man behind the monster for 27 years voicing Elmo, was granted a leave of absence from the popular children’s program amid sexual allegations with an underage male.

This has promoted Kevin Clash to make public that he is a gay man. Clash admits to having a consensual relationship with a man, who is now accusing Clash of rape.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why this situation is messier than Oscar the Grouch’s basement.

  • Sesame Street is a children’s program that has been running for over 40 years.
  • Sesame Street is operated by a family-oriented broadcaster in PBS.
  • Kevin Clash is one of the most visible puppeteers, making public appearances and most recently starring in the documentary, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey. The Special Jury Prize winter at Sundance 2011.

Kevin Clash and Elmo on the set of Sesame Street

It was known within the first 24 hours of this story breaking that the accuser reached out to Andreozzi and Associates as legal counsel. The same law firm that represented one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky child rape case.

Three days after the allegations were made the charges were dropped. This happening so quickly will help Sesame Street and PBS back Clash when he insisted he did no wrong, that this was a consensual relationship separate from work.

“If it were any other type of product, keeping Clash is fine but they’re not selling Tide or Tylenol.” Cherie Kerr

However it might not be that easy. I would think Elmo might need to take a vacation from the busy street but Elmo is Sesame Street’s greatest asset.  Some say Elmo needs a new voice, “If they keep Clash’s voice every time someone hears that voice they will associate Elmo with those allegations,” said Cherie Kerr a PR expert. “If it were any other type of product, keeping Clash is fine but they’re not selling Tide or Tylenol.”

I think holding off on any new releases of Elmo products is where they need to start. Maybe the saving grace for Clash’s career is that the children who watch this program look up to Elmo and not the voice behind him. This will be an extremely interesting case to follow because it is not over yet… PURE Weekly will look in to Kevin Clash paying the accuser $125,000 for the recanted statement. More to follow.

For more on Sesame Street click here.

Skyhigh Box Office

Skyfall opened this weekend to a near $90 million dollar box office take; the highest opening for a Bond movie in the franchises 50 years.

Skyfall is the third Bond installment with actor Daniel Craig as the man with a license to kill. His first outing reinvigorated a double-O fan base with Golden Eye director Martin Campbell, but the next picture Quantum of Solace, while strong at the box office ultimately disappointed. James Bond fever was cooling rapidly.

So how does Skyfall have such a strong showing? It relies on an old-school cool factor with references to old bonds films and a theme song by Adele that harkens back to the songs of the 1960s. Visions of girls, guns and martinis.

The biggest change however, might be in first-time Bond director Sam Mendes (2000 Academy Awards Best Director for American Beauty) he is a veteran of stage directing and infuses his motion pictures with character development and storyline that is required for the stage. This juxtaposed with intelligent action scenes may be what sparked a frenzy at the box office.

I think popcorn movies that let you shut off any thought process will never go away and are necessary, but the highbrow action films like The Dark Knight Rises are proving you get a little further when you realize the audience is an intelligent crowd and look for a premium product when paying that premium price to get inside the cineplex.

For more on Skyfall click here

Fashion Backward

Attack of The “Manne-thins”

Public Relations is what it says it is; A relationship with the public, In most cases, an organization’s relationship with the public. A lot of what an organization stands for and how they want to be perceived is part of it’s communications department responsibilities.

So why is H&M, the major clothing store, sending an image to costumers that has been long fought against?

Take a look at the new mannequins for H&M storefronts. They seem like they have gone a few days (weeks) without a good meal.

H&M Mannequin

Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks

In this new millennium, it’s becoming more socially accepted to be… who you are; something a lot of people have spent decades fighting for. We might not all be models, but healthy living is a major trend.

I honestly can’t believe H&M would showcase ultra-thin mannequins as their welcoming committee, when in store their sizes reflect every body type on the spectrum.

Is the next trend going to go backwards or is this a case of mistaken identity in high fashion? In today’s world when most red carpet photographers and praise land on women like Christina Hendricks of AMC’s Mad Men, you would think we’ve seen the last of the “Manne-thins” to sell a product.

H&M Canada