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  • Kat Day

Meme-orable Marketing: Think Before You Meme

With the rise of social media usage over the past decade, companies are having to broaden what their traditional scope of advertising and marketing entails. A whopping 79% of adults use Facebook, 35% use Instagram, and 24% use Twitter. In order to maintain viewership for their brand, businesses are utilizing these platforms. And what is one way to do that? Through the use of memes!

What is a Meme?

A meme is an image or video, often combined with words or a caption that references some aspect of pop culture and are intended to strike your funny bone. Memes have the potential to spread virally throughout social media, which is why it is valuable for companies to understand the do’s and don’ts of meme marketing:

  • Beware of “memejacking.” This is when you take an existing viral image and add your own caption and it is not as well received.

  • Brand loyalty is best stimulated by creative and original content.

  • Memes use humor, but make sure to get a second opinion before launching an ad. Make sure your comedy appeals to the widest demographic possible, and (perhaps this goes without saying, but I will anyway) make sure it’s actually funny.

  • Don’t take virality for granted. If a meme is in poor taste, you’rebound to face a PR nightmare faster than you can say “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

One of my favorite (albeit dated) examples of meme marketing is Dos Equis. Their widely-known character “The Most Interesting Man in the World” has been used in countless memes. While a majority do not promote the beer, the brand is still represented because of the instant image recognition. Below is an example of a text-only Twitter post by Burger King from Sept. 2017.

What are some of your favorite examples of marketing memes that you’ve stumbled upon in your media browsing? Share them below and let’s have a chuckle.

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