108 Catcalls in 10 Hours

As part of an activist campaign to fight street harassment, this video was made with a hidden camera in a guy’s backpack and an attractive female actor who, because she has a 3.96 GPA as well as black belts in Taekwondo and Atemi Jutsu, was probably never in much danger. She walked silently behind the hidden camera while carrying two microphones and wearing jeans and a t-shirt.  During her 10 hours of walking the streets of Manhattan, she was harassed by a lot of disgusting males. This film went viral immediately and amassed more than 25,000,000 views in just 3 days.

The Power of Parody

Is this anything?

The first step to answering this question is to visit the video maker’s website, Dissolve.com. Dissolve.com is in the business of providing “HD footage for today’s visual storyteller.”

The second step is to check out the original writing by Kendra Eash at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. McSweeney’s Internet Tendency is a daily humor website run by a publishing company in San Francisco.

What the video is NOT

This video is not a real advertisement. It is not serious. Watching it is not a life-changing experience and it will not cause you to go out and buy any product because it does not promote any product.

What the video IS

“This is a Generic Brand Video” is a joke.  More specifically, it is a brilliant piece of satire that makes fun of the North American advertising industry and how many large advertising companies promote their clients’ brands and products with important sounding music, words, and images.

It was produced by a company that sells royalty-free  HD video clips to “today’s visual storyteller,” and it was made as a satirical response to a blog post written by another satirist, Kendra Eash at a website called McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

To summarize, “This is a Generic Brand Video” is a perfect example of the anthropology of Web 2.0: people connecting, communicating, and collaborating with other people to create powerful messages through text, imagery, social networks, and the internet meme.

To learn more about the internet meme, watch the digital story below.