"Gangnam Style" vodka is coming for Russia
Oppan drunkard style.
A company in Russia made its first move to cash in on Psy's 2012 anthem "Gangnam Style" this week when it filed an application to register the K-pop sensation's catchphrase "Oppan Gangnam style" as the name for a new line of beverages ranging from vodkas to cocktails to standard, G-rated drinks and juices.
The company, a Yekaterinburg-based company called City, hopes to take advantage of the fact that YG Entertainment Inc., a South Korean company, failed to include beverages in its business plan when it registered "Gangnam Style" as a trademark in America back in August.
At the time, YG Entertainment only included what Russia Today called "a variety of goods, from toys to clothes" in its business plan.
It's no secret that "Gangnam Style" has become somewhat ubiquitous in pop culture this year—the YouTube video for Psy's infectious anthem recently surpassed the 1 billion view mark, making it the most popular YouTube video ever by more than 200 million views—but many within the Russian branding world think that putting all your chips in one horsey dancing basket may not be good for long-term business.
Stars & Brands brand analyst Vadim Kormilistyn went so far as to predict that the trademark won't be very popular at all, saying, "Views do not guarantee viewership and loyalty."
"The users have watched and forgotten," he said. "One cannot draw an equal mark between he name of the brand or a line from the lyrics and a product that will be produced under the trademark."
What's more, many skeptics see "Gangnam Style" as a branding ship that's already sailed, one that's seen its time in the sign and recognizes that there's very little life left for the K-pop hit.
"The video's popularity is currently not going up," said Anton Korobkov-Zemlyansky of The Legend media agency. "It's uneconomic to make money at this point.
"Besides, up to a year will pass before the trademark gets registered. By that time, it will be completely forgotten."
Though the Daily Dot would never wish ill upon a company that wants to make vodka or juices, we can say with some sureness that it won't be a tragedy if, in one year, "Gangnam Style" is in truth all but forgotten.
Until then, drink up.
Photo via OfficialPsy/YouTube