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Viral marketing and imaginary ethics, or the joke that goes too far

Hoedemaekers, C (2011) 'Viral marketing and imaginary ethics, or the joke that goes too far.' Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 16 (2). pp. 162-178. ISSN 1088-0763

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This paper addresses the role of humour in advertising through video-websites such as YouTube. In particular, it examines several instances of how banned TV ads that are purposely circulated on these websites use edgy or shocking humour. The author argues that this type of advertising creates an impression of progressiveness by appearing to question societal conventions for what is appropriate and acceptable in public media discourses. Drawing on the work of Freud and Lacan, one can understand such advertising as conveying a false image of ethicality since it does not fundamentally question or reflect on the underlying Symbolic logic but, rather, strengthens it. These advertisements operate by creating a feeling of complicity, based on the subject's guilt for enjoying morally objectionable jokes (the bribe of the third), as well as a positive attachment to the brand image by means of the enjoyment released by the joke (down-payment on the fantasy).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: humour; advertising; viral marketing; Freud; Lacan; YouTube
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2013 14:46
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:26

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