OK, there are so many levels I like this video on. First up, it’s an incredible effort by the staff of Penketh High School to recreate as close as possible Psy’s original Gangnam Style video. Secondly, I tip my hat to you, Head Teacher Mr. Jeff Hughes, for staying true to your word and following through with a promise. Thirdly, this is a brilliant way to form and unite community, especially when up to 50 of the staff dedicated four weeks after school hours to get this video created. Furthermore, this is a brilliant piece of marketing for a school that specialises in media and visual arts.
Schools often shy away from use of social media, but Penketh’s efforts here have been viewed close to 290,000 times on YouTube and the video has received media coverage in Liverpool newspapers and even the Huffington Post. They toned down some of the video segments to make it more family friendly and wisely so. Head Teacher Jeff Hughes doesn’t come across as creepy, he comes across as someone getting into the spirit of things. The decision to add the prefacing comments explaining what motivated the creation of the video was, once again, a stroke of marketing brilliance and will no doubt attract prospective students to a school that embraces a sense of fun amongst their staff and students. Looking at the range of comments on YouTube (which are no doubt being carefully monitored) it has been well received. Take a look at this sample.
Fantastic! I would like to have a principal like you!
Huge congratulations to everybody at Penketh – to the staff for having the guts to make the video and particularly to the students for their improved studies. I’m just thinking back to my secondary school days and our 1960’s staff. They still wore black gowns! What I would have given to be educated in today’s schools. We didn’t have slates to write on but it feels like it when I see this! Very well done. Sudents – make the most of these opportunities. You are lucky. How did you keep the secret?
The filming was done before and after school and to ensure the budget was practically zero kind-hearted businesses and community figures did their bit to help when it came to providing props and locations for shooting.
This included the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Warrington putting the school in touch with a customer who loaned the use of her red SLK class car.
The garage even supplied personalised Penketh High School number plates.
It is the same model of car which features in Psy’s original offering which, in December last year, became the first video to clock up more than one billion views on YouTube and has a Guinness World record for the most ‘liked’ song ever .
The clip reminds me of the excellent effort from Yr 12 students at my school in 2009 that they left as their parting gift on their last day. While not an exact recreation of The Black-Eyed Peas, ‘I Gotta Feeling’, it showcased nearly every student from that year level and utilised much of the school grounds.
And if you haven’t seen Psy’s original Gangnam Style video, here it is so can compare it with Penketh’s effort.
Have a great weekend everyone. If you work in a school, think about what you could be doing to engender community utilising the tools of social media. My mind is racing… :)