Cancer Center's 'Gangnam Style' Video Goes Viral

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , December 5, 2012

While scrolling through my Twitter feed last month a tweet written by US Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Aly Raisman stood out. The grammar on the post isn't perfect, but the gist is that a "Gangnam Style" spoof dance video she filmed with fellow Olympic teammates Jordyn Wieber and Gabby Douglas had her "hysterically laughing."

I clicked to view it, half expecting a shaky home video shot in the Olympic Village on a smartphone, but what I saw was an elaborate, professionally produced awareness piece by the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, NC.

"Gangnam Style," if you've managed to escape it, is a Korean pop song that became popular in the US a few months ago, first as a joke and then as a legitimate music sensation.

The singer, Psy, has performed the song for crowds at the Today Show and taught Britney Spears the corresponding dance moves on the daytime talk show, Ellen. Parody videos have been cropping up online ever since.

After watching the song and its goofy dance moves gain popularity, the Levine Cancer Institute marketing team realized it had an opportunity to both raise awareness for the organization and put a smile on a cancer patient's face.

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