First Came Chris Daughtry, Quickly Followed By Weezer, MGMT, Eric Cartman, And Now, IMO, Topping Them All (Except Maybe Cartman’s Rendition, It’s A Tough Call) The One & Only Christopher Walken. What Do They All Have In Common? They’ve All Spoofed Lady Gaga’s Hit Single “Poker Face.”
So…What is it about Lady Gaga, and this song in particular, that lends is self to such memetic mimetics? There is something undeniably unique about The Lady & Her Music. Her Style, Performance, The Catchyness of the tune…all of which make for User Generated Recreations. But it’s rare, and a privilege, when other artists or media producers spoof one’s work. Even in jest, most blatant mockery subtly suggests some degree of respect and admiration. If Family Guy or South Park ever made fun of one of my creations, I’d take it as a compliment.
Marketers & Advertisers Strive To Impart These Qualities On Their Content. To Provide A Template On Which Consumers Can Build, a Body of Material Ripe For The Creative Masses To Restructure, Remix, Reinterpret, Re-contextualize…and spread.
So what is it that she (or her team of producers and publicists) does, to lend her brand to such virality?
My Good Friend Rachel Feigenbaum, A CUNY PhD Student, Has An Interesting Thought:
When a person hears it [Her Music] you can’t help but admit that it’s catchy and fun. But when you realize what the lyrics are, what you’re singing, it’s embarrassing that you actually enjoy something that sophomoric, so to cope we make fun. [It’s a] Social Defense Mechanism. People find that humorous it’s why she’s successful. She’s crazy and out there, but its fun and funny. It’s being so ridiculous, that it’s entertaining. For Her, Tactful Talentlessness becomes true talent and she’s thus she brings a new dimension, and with it success, to an otherwise superficial music career & by superficial I mean a lack of lyrical and musical depth.
When I asked My Friend & Colleague Jess Greco that same question, she responded:
Historically, pop culture is pop culture for a reason- it is constantly being referenced. She’s original, shes doing things that are slightly ridiculous, and thats what is getting her attention. And these are the things that often turn into the internet memes that we’re so obsessed with nowadays. And a big part of this are the the references, just like The Office and The JK wedding dance video. Why Other Artists & Producers? Maybe Because they want to be part of the phenomenon? I dont know. They want to play off someone else’s attention to get their own? But I feel like that applies to any person, not just celebs.
Personally, I get excited when celebs reference other celebs. It compounds the impact on the consumer/viewer and makes them feel like they’re part of this inside joke.
Could it be that simple? Is this authentic originality engendering producer-to-producer parasitism? Or is this something much more a psychologically complex? Is her brand Built, from the top down, to be so well suited for spoofing and these cultural memes, arguably one of marketing’s holy grails?
Watch The Videos…& Please Let Me Know What You Think!
And MGMT at 3:15 into the clip…