Memes are essentially ideas copied and spread across the internet with slight variations. What is interesting is the way a conceptual framework is being used to apply to various context often in humorous ways. There are two drivers for viral memes – humour and resonance. The manner by which the image and/or text combined generates universally appealing humour or the sense of “I know exactly what this is about” allows it to be shared, copied and spread.
Yet to be part of the media which carries the conceptual framework for the meme is perhaps a whole new level. Andras Arato experienced that being the meme character “Hide the pain Harold” and shares about it on a TEDx. It was completely accidental and the fact it started with some harrassment on part of internet users was pretty disturbing. But Andras embraced it in such a huge way – even starring in a funny video of a tour of Manchester particularly displaying his love for the Man City football team. The video reflects how sporting he is about this internet character and that genuine sense of enjoying the persona given to him.
Most recently, Swedish authorities used his stock image on the website for Covid-19 vaccinations and alongside giving people a good laugh, had to try and assure themselves this would not mislead the public on the level of confidence about the vaccine.