Dare to Do Something Cool: “Somebody That I Used to Know” and the Power of Social Media Parody
I simply LOVE the song by Gotye entitled “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Its runaway success is impressive. It has compelling feeling, artistic uniqueness, interesting instrumentation, a totally kick a$$@s video (281 million views and counting) and more. I am a complete and utter fan girl.
I also love how it has inspired dozens+ of parodies. Here is a short list of some of the more amusing ones. Put on your headphones so you don’t disturb your coworkers, sample a bit of each one to get a feel for the vibe and fun, and MAKE NOTE of the viewership numbers to the side of each. Yes, we’re combining music and math today…
Imitation, the Sincerest Form of Flattery (click on title to view video)
That Gotye Song – two guys complaining how they hate hearing this song all the time but end up singing their hearts out to it. They can’t seem to turn off their iPod and are compelled beyond their best efforts to keep listening…(3,687,701 hits)
The Star Wars That I Used to Know – for you sci-fi fans out there – “you can get addicted to an overuse of graphics…” – surely George Lucas is rolling over in the grave he’s not even in yet on this one. May the Farce with with you.. (3,595,919 hits)
Some Study That I Used to Know – a student lament about all the “stuff” you have to learn in high school that you never use – if you hated The Scarlet Letter, you will get a kick out of this. Watch out for the teacher shrugging her shoulders out of the painting… (1,062,466 hits)
Somebody That I Used to Know By Two Kids in a Car – simply brilliant, one of my faves. Two kids in a car video compilation, kids who clearly love this song and apparently lip sync to it every chance they get when driving in their parents’ car. (2,375,335 hits)
Somebody That I Used to Know, Muppets Version - yes, you know you’ve reached the pinnacle when the muppets sing your song. (389,671 hits)
There were 72K results when I searched Youtube for “Somebody I Used to Know”. I found parody versions with the Chipmunks, tons of kids, same sex versions, and adult rated versions (what sex act rhymes with know?..duh..).
Power of Parody plus Creativity Personalization
There are also hundreds of serious renditions, some rather fantastic and creative – like these – an acapella version with just one guy making all the sounds and voices… a Dutch choir group …and Rita Ora’s version, which, BTW, has over 7 million views - way cool.
The phenom song even has bloggers compiling share bait lists, a la moi, a sure sign of cultural traction – here’s a post about the top 10 covers – great stuff.
All together, I quit counting video views once I reached the billion mark, and I frankly, had many many more videos to tally. Pretty phenomenal, yes?
You Trying to Do Something This Cool?
So, think this through. Is your social media compelling, emotional, interesting, and so richly in touch with the social zeitgeist enough to be parodied? Does your brand even have enough sense of humor to understand the power of being parodied? Are you making content that is this shareable?
No? Maybe it would be worth your time to work on that…just saying…
Til ‘next time,
Vicki @Smartwoman Flaugher
[graphic by Tindelite]