Replay, Replace and Reconfigure – Empowered Audiences Riding the Wave of Viral Videos to Make New Meanings and Speak About Their Lives [an Analysis of Gangnam Style Parody Videos]

15 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2019

See all articles by Gillian Bolsover

Gillian Bolsover

University of Leeds - School of Politics and International Studies; University of Oxford - University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute; Fudan University - School of Journalism

Date Written: November 1, 3

Abstract

This research examines user-generated derivatives in the case of a single, highly influential Internet meme, the music video Gangnam Style. Using a mixed methods approach, this paper builds from previous research on viral videos to create a schema for analyzing the landscape of user-generated derivatives, proposing the categories of tribute, localization and parody.

Examining common themes of derivative videos, it is found that many videos have no particular intended audience or strident message, rather they are an attempt by the producer to localize the meme in a way that speaks about their daily lives. Producers of derivatives present their works as tribute to or appreciation of the original, rather than in critical opposition to it.

For those videos that attempt to send a particular message, viral videos often serve simply as a format and means to enable wide distribution of this message. Evidence from user comments suggests that parodic derivatives on YouTube are effective in reconfiguring popular cultural products to send peer-to-peer messages with entirely new meanings.

Keywords: parody, viral videos, memes, YouTube, derivatives, online humour, Gangnam Style, localisation

Suggested Citation

Bolsover, Gillian, Replay, Replace and Reconfigure – Empowered Audiences Riding the Wave of Viral Videos to Make New Meanings and Speak About Their Lives [an Analysis of Gangnam Style Parody Videos] (November 1, 3). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3351099 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3351099

Gillian Bolsover (Contact Author)

University of Leeds - School of Politics and International Studies ( email )

United Kingdom

University of Oxford - University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Fudan University - School of Journalism ( email )

Shanghai
China

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