Unless you’ve been living offline for the last two weeks, chances are you’ve see the “First Kiss” video. You know, the one where an artist got a bunch of random yet reasonably attractive people to kiss on camera for the first time. Here’s the video, just to refresh your memory.
This video was viral online, I know it showed up countless times on my personal Facebook news feed accompanied with comments like “This so cute!” and “Something to make you smile this morning”. From watching the video, you see multiple randomly selected couples exchanging very awkward, and very giggly hellos. You’re shown plenty of silence to help emphasise the awkwardness before eventually you see the couples kiss. These visual and audible cue’s lead us to believe what we are told – “Oh look at these cute couples oh my god this is so cute I’m going to share it with all my friends aww!” is quite often the reaction. However, not long after the video was realeased we learnt that is was actually an advertisement for clothes. “No! But it’s so adorable!” you think. Hate to break to you, but yep, it’s an ad for Wren, which apparently no one picked up on (including myself) event though the video, at the very beginning says “WREN Presents”.
One things for sure – They now have everyone’s attention, but I’m going to put it out there and say that no one was really paying attention to the clothes.
Now we know the motive of the video, we can investigate it further. Just before I said they stars of this little clip were “reasonably attractive”, and that’s because they’re all actors, musicians or models. Didn’t see that one coming. Seems the signifiers didn’t quite give us the full meaning of this video. Which shows us exactly why context is so important, particularly online. So next time you see something viral online, join me in paying a little bit more attention to what’s actually going on in it.