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
Date Written: November 1, 3
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
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