To an evolutionary biologist a meme is a behaviour, idea or action that is passed from one person to another within a culture. It’s the evolution of ideas through the spread, replication and adaptation of words. They are infective and viral and compete for your attention.
The internet meme stays pretty true to this and they are a great viral addition to the modern marketing toolkit. Your meme can be a word meme, video meme, photo/image meme, animal advice meme or something dreamt up in a marketing moment of magic. Make it familiar, topical, shareable, succinct and funny and sit back and watch it go viral.
So let’s take a look at memes that have worked , some meme creation platforms and then decide where to best position your meme for maximum effect.
Memes that work
With your brand in mind think carefully before you leap on board the meme train. Memes are fun and can be adapted to fit virtually every brand but may, and do replicate, and turn the tides of public opinion against you. What ideas do you think will resonate with your clients and their demographic? Overt marketing is a big no-no, remember that a meme is fun and interactive and think through the consequences of using culturally insensitive images or words. They could come back to bite you. Bill Cosby posted a picture of himself in 2014 inviting people to meme him and boy did they.
Baby Sammy’s fist clench denoting ‘success’ or ‘frustration’ started life as an image taken by his mother and was uploaded to Flickr and Getty Images. Since then it has snowballed and captured the imagination with success memes going viral in their thousands. Virgin Mobile paid an undisclosed sum to licence the image for advertisements and it was even used by the Whitehouse for an immigration campaign. Sammy Griner maybe the most recognised baby on the internet… after North West . This meme also significantly raised money through crowdfunding for Justin Griner (Sammy’s father) when he needed a kidney transplant in 2015.
There were some great meme campaigns last year including the “Straight Outta … “meme generator which promoted the film “Straight Outta Compton” boosting ticket sales at the box office. Try it yourself here http://www.straightouttasomewhere.com/ . The great thing about this campaign is the ease with which anyone can participate and share their meme. The public loved it creating hilarious memes, and no animal, politician or cartoon character was safe.
There are plenty of meme generators to help you in your quest including the following:-
There are always more meme generators popping up on the internet so keep an eye out and do let me know if you have a favourite app or generator. If you don’t think you can summon up the right sense of humour then have a browse through KnowyourMeme and exercise your inner comedian.
Get your Meme Seen!
Now that you had created your meme and discussed its role in your marketing campaign where are you going to put it?
Hopefully you are not ready to produce your memes. Just remember your sense of humour.
ISM’s next Social Media Marketing Course is running from 26th to 28th April in Dubai. Please get in touch through [email protected] if you want to learn more .