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Oppan Gangnam style! A series of accidents – place branding, entrepreneurship and pop culture

Nnamdi O. Madichie (Bloomsbury Institute London, London, UK and Unizik Business School, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 22 December 2020

Issue publication date: 12 July 2021




This study aims to highlight a series of accidents epitomized by the success of a music artist, bringing three streams of literature together – pop culture, entrepreneurship and place branding.


Using an illustrative case of a 2012 YouTube hit song, Oppan Gangnam Style, by Korean artist Park Jae-Sang, the artist’s attempt to lampoon the extravagant lifestyle of Gangnam District’s residents accidentally puts them on the global map. The narrative is built around the storytelling approach.


The study highlights the intersections of pop culture creativity and entrepreneurship (albeit accidental) with implications for place branding.

Research limitations/implications

The study is overtly documentary analysis-based and could, therefore be subjected to quantitative analysis in future research. Furthermore, the conceptual model could be tested with additional cases in the future.


In a broad sense, this study is a pioneering effort in the field of entrepreneurship and its interconnections with other disciplines – marketing (place and entrepreneurship) and pop culture. The conceptual model could form a basis for future research in such intersections.



Madichie, N.O. (2021), "Oppan Gangnam style! A series of accidents – place branding, entrepreneurship and pop culture", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 103-121.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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