The fox says whatever it takes to get viral

We’re all aware of what sounds barnyard and household animals make. Mastering the recognition of a meow or a woof are general staples to the understanding of language. Norwegian comedy duo pokes fun of this in the recent pop hit, The Fox (also known as What Does the Fox Say?)


I want to figure out the whole infographics thing. So when my friend decided to do coverage of Ylvis’ The Fox, I decided I should probably do something on the topic too. The song is too infectious and chirpy for me to stay away. The video raises some interesting kick-backs to other elements we see in pop culture.


Children learn the sounds animals make early in their language building education. Different cultures have different calls. Dogs says woof in English and in Mandarin they say wang-wang. Children’s toys and literature enforce the onomatopoeia the appropriate languages suggest. Companies produce toys with levers that shout animal sounds when they land images of the animal.

Even while people moved away from the farms and into the cities, knowing the sounds and names of barnyard animals remains a staple of language. If you’ve never seen a goat in person, what use is it to know what noise they make?

Paradigm parody

Recognizing the phenomenon of humans placing significance on recognizing animal calls allows us to question ourselves accordingly. While watching parody videos of TED Talks the other day, I came across an Onion piece titled “Ducks Go Quack, Chickens Say Cluck”. (If you’re not familiar with TED, it’s a series of inspirational/motivational speakers talking on innovation etc. Sometimes they use similes to drive points home.) The Onion drew attention to how ridiculous some of these videos can be.

Ylvis’ drives home a similar message as ‘Ducks Go Quack, Chickens Say Cluck.’ However, it’s more investigative and catchy. I don’t think I’ll ever get the chorus out of my head.

Welcome to the party

The music video was high production value and was done in exchange for favors. It has two main settings: a strobe-lit forest and a costume-themed party. The forest heavily resembles the forest we see in the Twilight saga. The strobe lighting makes it look pretty eerie. Were these things intentional? Probably not. I’m just saying that that’s what stood out to me.

Look at this forest. Look at the lighting. Hmm, those colors.

Edward + Bella 4 lyfe.

Wow, so eerie.

Getting down to copy and vectors

The first thing I sought to do was pick out a color scheme. Two main images stood out to me: when the the question “What does the fox say?” is first brought up and when the figures are dancing in the forest. I pulled screen grabs of those images and decided to draw my color scheme from there.

fox color schemes

I tried to pull colors that would work well mixed together.

I decided to mix the two when it came to the infographic. If I do a follow-up, I would like to focus on using more of the second color palette. I don’t know if there would be a way to use engage of the top palette.

I couldn’t decide what to do with the background. Originally it was white, then I decided that dark blue worked pretty well. I think it worked because it lines up with the background in the music video.

I struggled with finding the appropriate copy to accompany the images. In the end, I pulled everything from wikipedia. But these aren’t necessarily facts worth doting over. As time passes, I’m hoping more interviews will come and go with Ylvis as the subject. Then I’ll be able to find more obscure information and possibly be able to outsource from other places than wikipedia.

In Conclusion
This infographic was an ok starting point. It didn’t do very well on tumblr. The post garnished 8 notes (one of them was me reblogging for visibility). I think one of the main problems was posting it on a new account that doesn’t have any followers. Also, I posted it as a stand-alone image. Future posts may benefit from smaller images combined to make a series, like the Toontown Rewritten tumblr set.
All together, this was good practice. I had more reblogs than I expected. I’m going to try and do more infographics that include statistics.


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