Towards Vietnamese youth, Tuyet Bitch Collection (TBC) is not strange at all. So what is TBC? TBC is a collection of memes that use images of Disney princesses, ranging from Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty to Elsa- the Snow Queen. In terms of genres, TBC is image macros which place texts on princesses’ images. But, why the collection is called “Tuyet Bitch”? Because these princesses are a little bit “bitchy”, talking about sexuality matters, irreverent humor and social issues relevant to Vietnamese youth . They joke in an ironic way.
Tuyet Bitch Collection is absolutely a product of remix culture . Remix culture is basically when a person remixes or re-edits existing materials to produce the new one . For example, TBC has taken images of Snow White from the movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, then positioned texts on them. With 2.0 web era, Duy An- TBC co-founder- easily has access to the original images and re-edits them on Power Point or Photoshop. Duy An is both consumer of these films and producer of TBC, so we can categorize him as “prosumer” .
TBC is very successful as the youth love it. Its Facebook page has received one million fans since 2012. Not only love, but also active participation. At every posts of TBC, there are thousand youths participating in comments and shares. A recent post has 11.000 likes, 136 shares and 106 comments. Some other posts have 20.000 comments and over 700 shares. TBC has gone viral. But what makes it go viral?
According to Limor Shifman (2014), there are six factors making a meme go viral. The first point is positive and humor. Positive stories tend to be shared more than negative ones and people like being entertained by a material. TBC does it well because most of its posts focus on humor content. Take this TBC meme as an example. In the picture, the hilarious Snow White is wearing a pair of glasses, saying “Be serious, bitches”. Face like nerd but requests people to be serious, Snow White does create an irony.
This meme also provokes youngsters’ emotions. Most of the audience comments are “LOL”, “=))” and “Bitch Snow White should be serious first =))”. When a meme brings emotions to audience, whether it’s positive or negative, it stands a high chance of going viral.
Simplicity of message decides whether a meme goes viral or not. That means, if a meme’s message is understandable, that meme will quickly be viral. “Be serious, bitches” is not hard explaining. The white text only calls people to be serious at everything: at work, at school, at home, etc with the purpose of arousing fun.
Also, the status of meme characters is crucial. The meme are more shared if its characters are well-known. Everyone not only hears of Snow White, Cinderella, Bella, Aurora, Elsa and Anna but also loves them. That’s the reason why their memes are shared more frequently than unfamiliar memes.
Fifth factor making TBC go viral is positioning. Positioning means whether a meme reflects a current issue of the society or not. When a meme completely portrait the current situation, it is shared more regularly. “Looting beer” case in Vietnam is a typical instance. In 2013, there was a truck carrying 1,360 barrels of beers drove from HCMC to Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam. The truck rolled over and cans of beers rolled out on the street. Then Vietnamese citizens stopped driving to steal beers (Hội An 2014). The situation has been featured on TBC right away, with a meme of Mother Gothel.
The two image reads “Drunken beer will come out through piss. But the shame of Vietnam will always stay there”. Yes, it’s a shame since looting beer is an uncivilized behavior in Vietnam. Following a social issue, the meme gained much attention from Vietnamese youth at that time. There were 1.027 shares, 758 comments and 20.000 likes for this meme.
The last factor is participation. Besides sharing, a meme will be popular if it has some engaging activities with audience. TBC has many engaging memes about make-up styles of Snow White. Since it released these memes, many people have followed the styles. So, TBC knows what it needs to be viral.
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