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Viral Irony: using irony to spread the questioning of questi

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Molly McFarlane

on 7 November 2016

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Transcript of Viral Irony: using irony to spread the questioning of questi


Viral Irony
: the use of words to convey a meaning that is opposite of its literal meaning.
Irony Defined: "A state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result."
Methods or mechanisms of rejection
Direct Method
Indirect Method
Methods or mechanisms of rejection
"A public rebuff"
"To employ a rhetorical device such as irony so that citizens question the claim for themselves"
Kitsch Three wolf moon t-shirt
The most commonly perceived tool of viral irony tends to be sarcasm
: Presents two conflicting messages that draw in people's attention.
: Invokes humor, indirect (in this case, ironic) which increases the chance to remember
Aesthetically pleasing
: The audience feels a sense of cleverness/accomplishment at having understood the message.
There are 3 main methods that can engage an audience and make a message go viral:
1. Subversion
: turns accepted definitions, standards, and ways of interpreting the world around us, and flips them. This is an effective way of destabilizing the authority of the accepted definitions, standards, ways of interpreting the world.

Signaling Irony
Characteristics of irony that make it successful...
...Characteristics of irony that make it successful...
...Characteristics of irony that make it successful:
2. Countering post-emotionalism:

Are they stable all the time?
Always one way or another?
Or, do they fluctuate, vary, come and go to suit the current situation?

In marketing, we are asked to buy into simple emotions, which is manipulation. Irony counters this by smacking us upside the head with reality.
3. Community:
a result of understanding the joke, or comprehending the subtle message (in the case of the clean coal ads) that we are being manipulated, lied to, and asked to close our minds. The more we understand, the more we are drawn to like-minded people, and thus a community is created.

Accent or Modifier Cues
Modifies or highlights an ironic element of the message
Direct Cues
Explicit signals of ironic intention
Kinesic and Prosodic Cues
"Ironic wink"
Written Language Cues
Interpreting Irony
Pitfalls of Viral Irony
Most times the interpretation must be inferred
Gibbs and Izett state irony can only be inferred or interpreted if:
A person understands what irony is in the first place
That person can understand the difference between the speaker's intent and the literal meaning
Thank you!
Uninformed audiences will miss the point
Complexity of issues can easily lead to misinterpretation
rarely is there a new audience created (because you have to be part of the group that is educated on the topic to understand the message in the first place.)
Viral Irony
Why is irony employed in social marketing?
What is it about irony that can make a message go viral?
how does it work?
each one gets you a Timbit!
Viral Irony
Why is irony employed in social marketing?
What is it about irony that can make a message go viral?
how does it work?
1. "Irony - Definition of Irony in English | Oxford Dictionaries." Oxford Dictionaries. Accessed October 05, 2016. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/irony.

2. Undercurrentspaulo. "The Reality of Clean Coal Technology." YouTube. 2008. Accessed October 05, 2016.

3. "Coal Is Dirty." Coal Is Dirty. Accessed October 05, 2016. http://www.coal-is-dirty.org/.

4. Thisisreality. "Get Clean Coal Clean! (NEW Air Freshener)." YouTube. 2009. Accessed October 05, 2016.

5. "Robot Check." Robot Check. Accessed October 05, 2016. https://www.amazon.com/The-Mountain-Three-Short-Sleeve/dp/B000NZW3JS?th=1.
Counter post-emotionalism
Aesthetically Pleasing
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