Sometimes the wags on Twitter hit the sweet spot – usually at the expense of someone famous.
This happened during the past few days following the Luis Suarez biting controversy at the World Cup. I was monitoring Twitter the moment he sank his teeth into Italian defender Chiellini’s fleshy shoulder. I can spot a viral news event when I see one.
And within the next few minutes I was right. The network erupted with video mashups and memes of Suarez in a thousand different biting scenarios. Soon enough clever digital marketing folk were quick to follow with Specsavers, Nandos and even an English country pub getting in on the act (see pictures selection below).
News agencies camped outside Fifa headquarters on “Suarez watch”, while newspaper editors seized on the Uruguayan’s misfortune to dig into his past. There was no escape from Google’s all seeing gaze – the minutiae of Suarez’s past misdeeds were mashed up into multiple videos and memes and shared across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and the like. It was relentless, sad (he grew up in dire poverty in a broken home) and often very funny – so long as you weren’t Luis Suarez.
Hung out to dry – and drawn and quartered
Clever digital journalists and emarketeers know all about viral messaging and how to create viral content off the back of a wave of public self expression – usually in a brilliantly ironic, often savage way, like a 21st century version of a medieval rogue being hanged, drawn and quartered in front of a baying, hostile mob. But these days the ritual disembowelling is even more public and lasts a lot longer (tho admittedly doesn’t hurt so much).
Social lesson of the week
The social media lesson learned this week – at the expense of Luis Suarez – is spot what’s trending and let loose your creative invective. Go forth with your memes and mashups.
There but for the grace of God…
Just pray the world never decides to use you as the butt of its savage humour.