Giraffes, Bras, Revolutions and Social Activist Satirical Songsters – A quick blog on what went viral this past week



Today at work, our fabulous new administrative assistant sent Pauline the Giraffe riddle.

Pauline was absolutely gob-smacked.

“WHY HAS THIS GONE VIRAL?” She exclaimed.

Here’s what I think.

People like to belong, be in the know, that sort of thing.  Also, who could possibly hate a giraffe?  They are Ahhh-dore-able!

For those of you not familiar with the Giraffe Facebook Profile Picture Meme of 2013 (or GFPPM2013 as I like to call it) here is what I am talking about:

People shared a the following riddle either through private messages or on other people’s, or their own walls:

I’ve changed my profile to a giraffe. I tried to answer a riddle and got it wrong. Try the great giraffe challenge!

The deal is I give you a riddle. You get it right you get to keep your profile pic. You get it wrong and you change your profile pic to a Giraffe for the next 3 days. MESSAGE ME ONLY SO YOU DONT GIVE OUT THE ANSWER.

It’s 3 a.m., the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors! It’s your parents and they are here for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?

A fair dinkum argument erupted between myself, and my generally agreeable business partner regarding the answer to this riddle.

I asserted the answer was “your eyes” because you’d have a hard time opening the door if you had your eyes shut.  Pauline asserted that it was the door.

According to extensive Internet research on the matter, it seems we were both right, but the door seems to be considered the more popular answer.

So what is the magic formula that makes things go viral or fizzle completely?

Does anyone else remember a few years ago there was the single word bra colour posted in support of breast cancer awareness.  There have been countless viral Facebook memes since that.  Some have been cute, some have been interesting, some have been quite irritating.

This same week, there was the Russell Brand BBC interview with Paxman.

Great interview, and it has started a mini-revolution of sorts.  While I don’t personally agree with his call to action to stop voting as a solution to the deep social and environmental problems that currently afflict humanity and our threaten our future, I do very much agree with this statement:

“Here’s what a political system should NOT do:

–      It should not destroy the planet

–      It should not create massive economic disparity

–      It should not ignore the needs of the people”

So he’s up to around 2 million followers on facebook and there’s been about a million YouTube views of this interview in about 5 days if you add together the extended and edited versions.

Here is the extended version of the Russell Brand interview.

There was also a major fail by the subversive anarchist group Anonymous, who seem to have a similar agenda to Brand, but lack the comic and pop culture appeal that he has apparently.  The group asked for 1 million views in 24 hours, and when I checked it had made it to about 30,000 views and was of course taken down after 24 hours.

Had  a nice brief little chat with a few friends on my husband’s wall about this.  By the time a handful of them went to have a looky loo it had already been taken down.

Something else that went viral, and I quite enjoyed was the “No Woman No Drive” song.  For those of you who do not know, women in Saudi Arabia are forbidden from driving, and a small group of them recently defied these orders and posted pictures of themselves driving a car on social media.  The conservative Islamic powers that be in that country are fighting the progressives who wish to extend the right to drive to women in the area.

Here’s the song:

In conclusion…

As consummate social media junky and communication professionals, we too are often surprised about what goes viral and what does not these days.

So the advice we’d like to share with our friends, clients, and anyone reading this quickfire blog is this:

Take a punt!  Be considerate, kind and thoughtful with your posts and content, but get it up there and share your thoughts and ideas online.  Why?  Cause you never know what’s going to go viral these days, and maybe the next big meme will come from you or your brand.  So be protective and considerate about what you create, share, and champion online, but don’t be afraid to give it go.

Have a great rest of the week.

2 thoughts on “Giraffes, Bras, Revolutions and Social Activist Satirical Songsters – A quick blog on what went viral this past week

  1. Do you think an element of their virality is because it causes disagreement and debate between people.

    I.e. “It was the door” vs “It was my eyes.” (Giraffe)
    I.e. “Voting is being part of the problem” vs “Not voting is not changing things.”

    Secondly, do you think that the fact that there was a visual breadcrumb involved, increased the probability of virality. I.e. the giraffe pic. It incites people to think “WTF is with the Giraffe?” Then they ask why, they do the riddle, they fail, they change their pic. Trend continues etc. It all starts with someone going WTF!

    • Yeah, there was a bit of discussion about the riddle… But I stand by the fact Giraffes are cute and funny contributed. And yes, the WTF a giraffe pic definitely played a huge part 🙂 Thought it was only meant to be up for three days though, so suprised to still see so many giraffe pictures. Ah well.

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