Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gaby DiChiro: Assignment #5

Antoine Dodson: Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife!

On July 28, 2010, an NBC reporter interviewed Kevin Antoine Dodson after an impostor attempted to rape his sister in her apartment in the Lincoln Park housing projects in Huntsville, Alabama. This interview caught the attention of thousands of viewers who were drawn to Dodson’s passionate and amusing message addressing the rapist whom attempted to rape his sister as well as the neighborhood residents. Although the initial video (attached below) received extremely mixed reactions, it instantly became an Internet sensation turning Antoine Dodson into a renowned Internet celebrity.

Once the video of the interview went viral, it became an inspiration for several musical remixes, including popular auto-tuned remixes, which had also been a popular fad at the time. The popularity of the remixes grew exponentially and one remix titled “Bed Intruder Song” even reached to number 89 on the Billboard’s Hot 100 list. The Billboarded song further inspirited covers of big time artists such as Paramore and Relient K.

This Internet video even inspired the creation of several Internet “memes” and other merchandise with the popular phrase from the interview: “Hide yo kids, hide yo wife.”

Although it’s popularity peaked a week or so after its initial release, Dodson’s interview on the Today Show a month later still gained a large amount of attention from the public interest. A month after the discovery of this Internet celebrity the original video had been viewed more than 16 million times and today has more than 56 million views while the song video has gained more than 118 million views to this day. 

Becca Bressler Assignment #5

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy/Zeddie Little

The Ridiculously Photogenic Guy/Zeddie Little meme is a photoshop meme of an attractive smiling man that went viral after Zeddie Little was photographed running in the 2012 Cooper River Bridge Run. The public found the man exceptionally handsome. 


On March 31st, 2012, Zeddie Little took place in the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, South Carolina where this photograph was taken of him. This photo, along with others of the run, were uploaded to Flickr and Facebook, where one friend of the photographer dubbed him "Ridiculously Photogenic Guy." Within an hour of being on Flickr, the photo had reached 300,000 views. On April 3rd, 2012, the photographer submitted the photo to the /r/pics subreddit with a post title of "My friend calls him 'Mr. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy'", where the post received over 40,000 up votes. 

Soon after the post reached the front page of Reddit, a "facebomb" version was posted, where Zeddie's face was photoshopped on everyone's head in the image. 


The next day, Mashable, the tech news blog, published this photo with the title "New Meme Alert: 'Ridiculously Photogenic Guy'", with a photoshopped image of Tina Fey. 

Other derivatives included "Ridiculously Photogenic Surgery Girl," "Ridiculously Photogenic Metal Head",  "Ridiculously Photogenic Prisoner", "Ridiculously Photogenic Jiu-Jitsu Guy" and more. Zeddie was even invited on to Good Morning America to discuss the origin of the photograph and how he felt about all the attention he was receiving. 

I think this meme became so popular because it is unexpected that someone would take a photogenic picture while jogging. In fact, most people would say that they look their worst when they are exercising because they are flushed and sweaty. This guy, however, doesn't look tired or gross, he looks out of place. 

The popularity of this meme had a very short life as shown in Google Analytics:


I think the reason for the very short span of popularity for the meme has a lot to do with the fact that it is hard to find the amusement or humor in the meme unless you saw the original photo. Sticking Zeddie's face on other images isn't as amusing if you've never seen his face before, because he is not a recognizable celebrity, though he did mention on a formspring thread that he had been recognized on the street before. 

[4]  q=ridiculously+photogenic+guy#q=%22zeddie+little%22&cmpt=q

Delaney Brown Assignment #5

Delaney Brown
“Ain’t Nobody Got Time fo Dat!” Meme

On April 7th, 2012, a fire started in an Oklahoma City apartment complex and forced residents to flee the premisis.  KFOR News interviewed a displaced resident named Kimberly Wilkins (aka “Sweet Brown”) about her experience.  At the end of the video she stated that the smoke gave her bronchitis and “ain’t nobody got time for dat.” This memorable line launched a new meme that people use to express their feelings about tasks or events that may take time/energy out of their day.

The video was uploaded to Youtube that day and quickly went viral.  The video gained 1 million views along with 109,000 Facebook shares in the first 48 hours.  In my opinion, the video became popular because Sweet Brown captivates the audience with her enthusiasm as she tells her story.  The ending line, “Ain’t nobody got time for dat” is also hilarious because she doesn’t complain about the symptoms of bronchitis, instead she simply states that she doesn’t have time to deal with it.  Sweet Brown’s big personality and the attitude thrown into the statement is something that people enjoy repeating for fun.  The meme itself was created shortly after and became a new outlet to express tasks that people don’t have time to deal with. 

Although this event occurred over a year ago, memes continue to be made using Sweet Brown’s famous line.  In fact, meme generators on the Internet allow you to create “Ain’t Nobody Got Time fo Dat!” memes.  Whether you use Sweet Brown’s photo from her interview or upload your own picture, the line is available to use for comedic purposes.  People continue to enjoy this meme because “anytime somebody asks you to do something you don’t want to do or you see a ridiculous pin on Pinterest (nail art), you just respond by saying, “Ain’t nobody got time for that” and BOOM…you made a joke.”

Original Viral Video:


Taylor Jones Assignment #5

At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, then budding country star Taylor Swift was nominated for the “Best female video” category. Presenters Shakira and Taylor Lautner announced the winner and a stunned Swift nervously made her way to the stage but her excitement would be short lived. Moments after the singer accepted her award, a distraught Kanye West approached the stage and famously said “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you and I’mma let you finish but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!” The meme itself is presented as a still shot of Kanye with the mic in his hand motioning toward Taylor Swift. The meme was literally an overnight sensation, as it dominated the headlines for the month of September and even President Obama weighed in on the issue calling West a “jackass”.  The famed rapper has a long history of outlandish stunts so the incident essentially added to his catalogue of erratic behavior that his fans and the media have come to fawn over.

In addition to the “Imma let you finish” meme, the “Kanye Shrug” also emerged from the same incident. This meme is a still shot of Kanye shrugging his shoulders immediately after his rant before handing the microphone back to Swift and walking off the stage. While undoubtedly less popular, there is also a " Imma let you finish" meme of West's own 5 month year old daughter. 

Chris Larson - Assignment 5

All Your Base Are Belong to Us

The meme "all your base are belong to us" originated from an English translation of the Japanese video game "Zero Wing" released in 1989. The meme is actually a phrase taken from the opening cinematic of the game which is full of a number of grammatical errors. This meme took off in the early part of the 2000s, but Google insights actually only goes back to 2004 where its popularity had begun its slow decline and started to level out in mid 2008. 


The main driving force behind this popularity was a fan made video posted to the site Newgrounds in early 2001 [2] in which they remixed the dialogue from the cutscene with the game's musical track while cutting between a number of images in which the signature phrase was photoshopped onto billboards, posters, bulletin boards, etc.


This meme also took off around the same time that Photoshop and similar products gained popularity. This is probably part of the reason that the meme became so popular at the time. Another factor would be the humor involved in broken English translations common in video game culture due to Japan's heavy influence in this culture. Finally, the song in the video is particularly catchy which also contributed to its virality. After the advent of Youtube, people began uploading videos that took the song from the original video and used it to back some other compilation of clips from modified video games, photoshopped images, or other memes like in this video of the game pokemon.


Another quote from the game's opening cutscene spawned its own, much less popular meme from the phrase "for great justice." It is typically used to overemphasize the importance of some everyday activity. [5] For instance, one might say "I'm going to pick up the kids from practice... for great justice!" The intended effect is meant to be humorous as the drama of the statement does not match the severity of the situation involved.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Laura Bolton - Assignment 5

Casually Spray Everything Cop

In the Fall of 2011 as the Occupy Movement was sweeping the country, the protests were just as more prevalent, and violent, on college campuses. On November 18th, what was a peaceful protest at University of California, Davis, resulted in multiple police officers pepper-spraying sitting-down students. Since the Occupy Movements were heavily documented by the media, multiple photographs were taken at the event, and thus the severity and shock of the images lead to a viral internet meme, often referred to as the "Casually Spray Everything Cop". It also became popular due to the widespread awareness of the Occupy Protests and the nonchalant facial expression and body language of the officer spraying the young students with disregard for their protesting message and also their health and well-being. 

Figure 1 - Original Image - taken at UC Davis

Figure 2 - Google Insights

The data extracted from Google Insights clearly shows the popularity of the meme during November 2011, which quickly declined thereafter, as the Occupy protests faded and lost media attention, as well as the the decline in shock of the pepper-spraying incidence. Like most memes that are very contemporary, their interest levels peak in accordance with their importance and inclusion in the media, therefore are headed for decline in popularity shortly after. 

Figure 3 - Pink Floyd Variation
Figure 4 - Harry Potter Variation
Figure 5 - My Little Pony Variation
The images above show the creativity and different variations of the original image. From film and TV show related memes, to music and art history, internet users from (mainly) across America turned the event, like a lot of memes, into a comedic image, which offered some comic relief to the peaceful-turned-violent protest, however some might argue it took light from the drastic measure taken my the police officer at Occupy UC Davis.



Michael Judy - Assignment #5


Planking (also known as "Lying Down Game" or "Extreme Lying Down") is a very popular internet meme that has been around for many years.  It's wide spread popularity is partial due to it's simplicity and ease of participation.  Simply put, "Planking is an activity consisting of lying face down - sometimes in an unusual or incongruous location" [1].  The term originates from the fact that people who are planking appear in a very straight and rigid position, like a plank of wood.  Below are some examples of people planking:

Dwight Howard Planking [2]
Man Planking on Escalator [3]

Despite planking's relatively recent popularity, it has actually been around for quite some time. Although social media web sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, are responsible for the widespread popularity of planking, planking originated long before the rise of Internet 2.0.  In fact, the first documented occurrence of planking is credited to Tom Green in 1994 when he performed a stunt for a cable TV show.  However, planking did not become a widespread social and internet phenomenon until 2007, when the first planking Facebook page was created, encouraging visitor and "friends" to post their craziest planking pictures [1].  The following image shows planking's search popularity on google.

Google Trend of Planking [4]

According to google, planking had about a year of high popularity, experiencing exponential growth, from mid 2011 to mid 2012, reaching a peak in August 2011.  This growth was facilitated by social media and celebrity interaction.  The meme became so popular that there have been multiple well-know and almost equally popular spin-offs of the meme.  Some of the more famous include the following:
Tebowing [5]
Batmanning [6]
and, as made famous by the creators of South Park:
Faithhilling [7]

Assignment #5 Melissa Russi

The Cinnamon Challenge

The cinnamon challenge became a very popular challenge that escalated into an internet sensation beginning in the early 2000s. With thousands of videos uploaded to Youtube and other video blogs, the cinnamon challenge reached a widespread audience. The challenge involves the victim attempting to swallow a spoon full of cinnamon, within a minute, without inhaling it or consuming it with liquids. Although this task seems fairly simple, it is physically impossible. The earliest attempt was recorded in 2001by Michael Buffington and Erik Goodlad. The video was uploaded onto a blog which was later discovered by Jason Kotke and made viral. The first YouTube video to feature the challenge was created in 2006, followed by several others. The challenge became increasingly popular due to the entertainment value when watching how different people react after eating a spoon full of cinnamon; coughing a cloud of red powder, throwing it up, screaming, or drenching one’s mouth with a big glass of water. The fact that it seems like a fairly simple and easy challenge in itself is also an appealing factor as people are determined to complete it.  Search entries gained its highest activity in October 2007. One of the biggest video hits was uploaded in 2011 by Anna Diaz, racking up over 3.9 million views in the first two months. The challenge hit its peak interest, however in February of 2012 according to Google Trends. The challenge has several Q&A threads, a Wikipedia article, Facebook fan pages, an entry in the Urban Dictionary, featured on myth busters and on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel. It also gained widespread notoriety with multiple studies being done linking the challenge to medical complications including throat irritation, lung scarring, and emphysema. In one year alone, hundreds of kids required hospitalization after doing the cinnamon challenge. There have not been any other known memes to have originated from the challenge, but it still continues to be a popular activity on social media.


Assignment #4: The Betchtables

Friday, November 1, 2013

Gaby DiChiro: Assignment 3

Lululemon Athletica is a unique company that prides itself in selling not only yoga-inspired athletic apparel but also an enlivening new lifestyle. I have been buying Lululemon apparel for about seven years now and I will confidently say that the inspiring and growing community that this company continues to build upon has led me to make several vital changes in my life, which have in turn resulted in a more enriching and healthy lifestyle that I continue to embrace more and more everyday. Just by browsing the company’s website, one can gain the sense of community and lifestyle that company strives to create – one that promotes “long, healthy, and fun lives.”

The Lululemon website does an exceptional job in devoting 50% of their site to marketing its athletic apparel and other products while the other 50% is dedicated to educating its community members on matters such as product care, goal setting, sustainability, and healthy living tips. The latter also includes a link to their blog and a messageboard for feedback and discussion. Their manifesto, which is located on their shopping bag as well as on their website is a collaboration of inspirational quotes, words, and facts that together, sufficiently deliver the overall message that the company wishes to instill in its customers and/or community members. The power of this manifesto leads consumers to want to continue to buy into their products and adapt the lifestyle in which it has created. It is extremely transparent that the company really does care about their customers and wants to make a lasting impact on their lives.

The website does an excellent job in marketing the Lululemon brand because they are constantly updating the content and are able to keep members and consumers interested and intrigued. They are constantly getting new products, which are always displayed on the site as large images coupled with the product’s purpose, impact, and benefits. The site even provides an entire section devoted to the quality of their products, the fabrics and technologies used to make their products, and the sustainability of their products. This allows for users to really know how their products are being made and gain more knowledge as to why the prices of their products are set slightly higher than most other athletic apparel companies. This section also includes a feedback and discussion forum in which people can talk about why and why not they enjoyed certain products and suggestions to the company for how they can improve products in the future. By dedicating a section of their site to discussion, it promotes a more inclusive and participatory culture among its members – one in which they feel like their input is actually acknowledged and being taken into account. Lululemon also puts on various yoga classes and other events at almost all store locations – allowing for the community to come together in order to inspire, teach, and embrace similar interests with one another. The events are promoted through their website and feedback from participants regarding these events is also posted.

One key feature that is not utilized on the Lululemon website is the use of premiums to attract new customers. This company seems to devote most of their energy in marketing to current users rather than extending its targeted segments to new consumers. There never seems to be any special deals promoted through their website and the sale items are very limited and often overlooked due to a lack of promotion. They have a strong loyal customer basis and strive to strengthen their relationship with those customers to the best of their ability, which they are very successful in doing.

Overall, the Lululemon website is very easy to navigate and its simplicity allows for visitors to really focus in on the content and the message that the company is trying to deliver rather than unnecessary distractions. The content flow and positive, impacting content that the site provides makes the Lululemon marketing methods extremely effective. 

Delaney Brown Assignment 3

Likes: 22
Talking about this: 160,444
Were Here: 30, 674

The extremely successful department store, Target utilizes a Facebook page to gain followers, promote items, engage customers, and give people a place to post their commentary.  In my opinion, Target does a good job using this social media page an effective source of social media marketing for a number of reasons.  First, the page is constantly being updated, posting new material, and rapidly responding to commentary.  It facilitates participation by creating games that are inspired by the season.  Today, the page posted a game that toys with the “no shave November” fad by placing products that look like mustaches in a picture for anyone to guess what type of mustache the product resembles.  The Target page is keeps the page fresh with content flow by providing videos of inspiration, promotional advertisements, and will even post printable recipes using discounted Target ingredients that.  The most recent video advertisement introduces the fact that the holidays are approaching and demonstrates a perfect setting of a family getting ready to sit around the table.  The video is short, festive and features a remarkable amount of Target items.
Additionally, Target promotes and includes User-Generated Content in that they provide a designated part of the page for commentary by customers.  The weakness with this section is that commentary tends to fall upon the extremes: customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.  There are many angry comments about Target’s website shutting down often, delivery fees, and other negative personal stories.  On the other hand, extremely happy customers will upload pictures of them using their purchase or even their kids wearing/using a particular product.  To address this commentary, Target always has a representative comment back to the person to give suggestions, address any issues, or thank them for the complement.  This “Customer Service Portal” is quick to respond whether the commentator finds this response helpful or not.

Taylor Jones; Assignment #3

As of Friday, November 1st, Taco Bell’s twitter account has 873, 017 followers and follows only 16 accounts. Taco Bell uses its social media presence to interact with a youthful audience and open the dialogue between customers about their products.  By using effective marketing techniques and leveraging celebrity fans, Taco Bell has created a social media footprint that encourages participation and rewards.  Taco Bell currently has a number of premiums available to customers. To promote their  new “5 buck box”, the restaurant has teamed up with Sony to give customers a chance to win a Play Station 4. The twitter account instructs users to buy the box for the chance to win the game console. In addition to this, Taco Bell has asked their followers to send in pictures of them eating the 5-buck box in order to get digital coupons to the restaurant.  The request brought in a surge of submissions.

From a participatory standpoint, Taco Bell does an amazing job of creating events around their products and giving the users a chance to get in on the action.  Taco Bell hosted a number of large-scale events in the Los Angeles area to promote the release of their Fiery Doritos Taco in September. Users had a chance to attend these events by retweeting certain tweets from the Taco Bell twitter account. Taco Bell’s twitter page contains a great deal of user-generated content. Taco bell routinely asks followers to post pictures of them doing fun, eccentric things with Taco Bell products. For example, one user proposed to his girlfriend with a Taco, and one follower dressed up as a Doritos Taco for Halloween and submitted the photo.  Taco Bell not only retweets these photographs but they also include them in their Twitter background photos.

One of Taco Bell’s biggest strengths is the dialogue they create between their customers. The restaurant creates an environment where not only can the users communicate with Taco Bell about their products but also with users all around the world. Taco Bells routinely ask fans to use hastags and tweet their usual order at the restaurant.  Taco Bell also asks users to post reaction photos and videos after trying new items on the menu. Taco Bell has also done an excellent job providing relevant, engaging content for followers. Taco Bell has garnered a large celebrity following largely due to their relationship with MTV where they have sponsored a number of awards shows and giveaways with the networks. Stars of MTV shows routinely tweet about Taco Bell and send pictures of them eating the restaurants products. By leveraging these celebrities’ star power, Taco Bell has been able to tap into markets they may have not been able to infiltrate before.