The World Of Memes!
Though it may seem as popular as Insta today, memes have been a part of our world since 1976. Coined in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, a meme is a “package of culture.” Pre-internet, this meant things like regional sayings, fashion, and architecture. These are styles, concepts, and behaviours that are infinitely replicable.
Popular memes a brand should know about
1) Photos and videos: Photo memes include anything featuring a person imitating a position or action that’s familiar, such as planking, Tebowing, and owling.
2) Image (macro) memes: An image meme (also called a “macro”) is slightly different than a photo meme. Image memes are generally a familiar image (photo or cartoon) with different captions (or, in a slight variation, familiar text with a slightly different image) in contrast to photo memes, which are photos of different people in a familiar position or environment.
3) Word memes: A Twitter hashtag is a meme. Popular words and phrases with a pound sign (#) in front of it become “trending topics,” (meaning lots of Tweets contain that word/phrase). People can add their own twist.
4) Miscellaneous marketing memes: These memes ask loyal fans (and potential new customers) to engage in an activity or take a picture of themselves doing something. Other marketing memes capitalize on existing memes and add their own caption.
Why are memes popular?
1) Easy to consume
3) Familiarity and relatable
What’s in it for brands?
1) Easy creation of value-added content
2) Stay relevant on social networks
3) Boost employee morale
The average person spends over 100 minutes per day on social media. Our worlds are largely informed by the jokes, references and commentary made by the friends and influencers we follow. When we spend, hours consuming humorous YouTube videos, it’s a buzzkill to see brand-sponsored advertisements crashing the party.
That’s why brands are getting smarter about the content they publish on social media. They know that the only way to elicit a better reaction than an eye roll is to give their audiences an experience tailored for social media. That means less overt promotions and more of the humorous “internet conversations” that millennials are already having.
When diving into the world of meme marketing, brands have two options: piggyback on an existing meme or attempt to create a new meme from scratch.