Tag Archives: emotion

Viral Videos – Identifiable and Relatable

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Looking at viral videos what is relatable and/or identifiable about the context of the video what makes it so appealing that people want to share it and talk about it? Let us have a look at a viral video and try and see what is relatable and identifiable about it. By relatable we mean something that can be connected to – usually through feelings, by identifiable we mean something that is worth our attention.

The following viral video was up loaded to YouTube on September 11, 2013, I am writing this blog post on September 16, 2013. Since the video got uploaded it has attained¬†8,082,477 views and is continuing to get more as I write this. The video is showing a surprise wedding proposal in a Home Depot with family and friends dancing to the tune of “Somebody loves you” by Betty Who.

There are a number of characteristics that work together to show why this video went viral:
1. Surprise – people like to see other people expressing emotions. Surprise is a basic human emotion, which I have explained in this past blog post.

2. The Wedding proposal – the ever loving moment between two people, it is a step nearly every loving couple will have, so why not get it recorded – so other people can compare or dream about how they want theirs.

3. Dancing – you’re either good at it or you’re not. A form of expression and interest to many that has been the main part in Hollywood films and has been a part of the most successful viral video, Psy’s “Gangnam Style”.

4. Music – is remarkable, music is all around us throughout life, people use it as a tool of comfort when feeling ups or downs, it is can be used to trigger memories of peoples past or set a scene for movies.

5. Raw emotion – the raw emotion on Spencer’s face appeals to how people would feel when watching, not knowing how things will turn out – living in the moment, type of deal. Feeling what someone else was feeling.

6. Gay marriage – a worldwide discussion that is identifiable and relatable to politics today. Marriage equality is a big issue in many countries and to have the display of love and affection that is shown in this video – this video may not change anyone’s mind, but shows dedication and interest in what same-sex couples would do to show their partner and the world that what they have is the same as what everyone else has.

Each aspect of this video works together to appeal to an audience, the high-energy dancing to the raw emotion, to the fact that it is a same-sex couple involved is relatable to people who watch it and would share it.

There are other aspects of this video that can also explain why it went viral – though are best mentioned in further posts.

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Viral Videos – Emotion and Scarcity

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Looking through the videos I watch on YouTube and other social media sites they all provoke some type of emotion that makes me want to watch it and share it. Though, how does one simple identify what emotion has a greater effect on the viewer – enough to make them continue watching and share it?

There is the idea that each individual has their own taste in videos – as they do in other aspects of their lives such as clothes, food and friends. Though when it comes to the basic human emotions, they are universally understood regardless of individuality, these emotions are Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness and Surprise – utilizing these emotions and providing a way to evoke them in videos is seen to be a constant concept if wanting to make a video go viral.

In this post by Sprout Social, making videos resonate with the viewer is a basic step in ensuring some views and in achieving a successful video – though resonating emotion is not enough. Contrasted by this Quartz article coincidentally named “The secret to viral success is there is no secret to viral success” breaking down the idea that the popularity of anything viral on the internet is the collective combination of popular past ideas and adding a little twist.

Quarts post mentions that the idea of makes something viral – when dealing with advertising, is scarcity and keeping a secret idea, much like taking something already made and adding some “secrets” to it to create a new product. As understandable as it works for products the idea for multiple viral videos to be taken from one simple idea falls short – such as the Harlem Shake – everyday there was more and more videos relating to the Harlem Shake from places all over the world in all different styles – people lost interest, the Harlem Shake was no longer scarce so therefore no longer unique and interesting to share.

Emotional history – Twin interview

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I was given the task of creating an audio track that related to one of the six raw human emotions – Anger, Fear, Happiness, Sadness and Surprise. I was not sure about what I was going to do in regards to exploring the emotion through the telling of a story. Focusing on the emotion of happiness, because it seemed one of the easiest to accomplish, I questioned if a literal or conceptual approach would be beneficial in showing happiness.

Regardless of the approach the interviewing was more difficult that I first thought, considering the people I interviewed were close friends the idea of trying to convey an emotion was difficult as I couldn’t maintain a some-what serious approach in my questions. On the other hand the easy-going comfortable area for which the interview had taken place (the interviewee’s house) there was that ideal that I could get more personal and more in-depth about exploring the emotion I was trying to achieve. Separate from the relationship I have with the people I interview there is always the chance that I do not have the right questions to get the emotional response that I need so a lot of thought is needed to ask the right questions.

Communicating the emotion I wanted expressed and the idea I had seemed like a pitfall but the biggest one was the awareness of surrounding background noises that appear in the interview as I listen to it on the computer. Going through and editing out all of the bumps, laughs and pauses seemed a necessity in achieving the emotion but also knowing when to keep something in as to benefit the interview was a challenge.

Learning that the interview process is much longer than what is shown was a surprise when doing it myself – the length of the interview and the amount of information I needed to fulfil what my idea dealt with a lot more recording and editing then what I would expect. I am pleased with my result but I still question if the amount of times that I hear the final product and the emotion I get from it either reflects my relationship with the brother I interviewed or that my work is able to resonate with other people.

If I was to do this process all over again I would be mindful of the amount of effort needed in gathering information and formulating questions that would provide some emotional response in the interview – though that would be on the person that gets interviewed as well.

Exploring the idea of happiness I had interviewed Paul and Matt Katselos – they are 23 years old and are twin brothers. My idea was to capture the unique situation in which their relationship has evolved into – I wanted to explore the idea that since they looked nothing alike they were still able to have an independence and from each other while still maintaining a close relationship to which twins are known to have. While questioning Paul and Matt I was getting responses that were meaningful and personal; as they were able to ‘bounce off each other’ and freely express themselves in relation to each other.

Overall this assignment was a challenge for me as trying to convey an emotion in just 2 minutes from an interview that would be 20 minutes plus, was up to the editor – trying to simplify emotional stories into 2 minutes is no easy task. I Felt I was controlling what aspects of a whole story would seem to be more important and relevant than the other parts.

Here is my result:

The process of this assignment was interesting and inventive and I am happy with my end result.

Reference/Attribution:

Floating Soft Guitar https://soundcloud.com/mcoffman/floating-soft-guitar-98
User:  https://soundcloud.com/mcoffman