The phenomenon has been delightfully frustrating for numerous high-power K-pop production companies as well, who haven't seen a fraction of this kind of attention in North America from their huge investments. It was unplanned, unexpected, and somewhat confounded those who were much less successful in previous attempts.
- JYP's hyped-up preparation and pushing of Rain's performance at Madison Square Gardens in 2006 was panned by critics for being poorly-timed and an MJ ripoff.
- JYP's US-tour of Wonder Girls backing the Jonas Bros in 2009 was over shadowed by JYP's illegal housing of the girls in their NY office as well as Sunmi's departure citing fatigue and stress (official response was "going to college").
All this is to say that a viral video can do way more than conventional promoting of K-pop artists, and both the bizarre dance (once popular among kids over here in the 1980s) and music video were the entire phenomenon. Of course, both YG's agressive, catchy acts 2NE1 and Big Bang have done very well outside of Asia and both SNSD and KARA have made a mint in Japan over the past few years (not to mention being very well received in much of Asia), but the fact that PSY went from a fairly successful career in Korea (easily selling out 8000-seat arenas and doing extensive touring for many years) to a bizarre world-wide phenomenon has left a lot of companies scratching their heads how it might be repeated in other forms. And PSY's int'l success being a total accident from start to finish, I'm betting it simply can't be done.
Aside from once again including a host of Korean celebrity comedians and now taking Ga IN and BEG's famous Abracadabra dance to the world in "Gentleman", he simply doesn't sit on the same plane as 한류 Hallyu (the so-called "Korean Wave"), isn't promoted as a repackaged K-pop act as most hallyu acts are done in int'l regions, and is a viral phenomenon that will likely be unrepeatable in any form from future Korean artists. Once again we have a mediocre dance tune coupled with both a high powered live act (one of my college friends plays keys for PSY's local live shows), and a flashy faux-arrogance-inspired music video poking fun at those who think of themselves as social elite...again.