Updated: Nov 23
The lines between creating content for a brand and creating content for purely entertainment purposes are becoming fainter with each passing day. Brands of today are witnessing the rise of meme marketing which can often be seen as a double edged sword. Companies are learning the importance of staying relevant. And while some companies have seemed to take the lesson well and are using popular meme formats to advertise themselves (see Tinder’s latest outdoor space campaign) some others have unwittingly become memes themselves (who can forget the Trivago guy?) So regardless of who creates the meme - the brand or the audience - meme marketing as a format is here to stay.
Remember telephone directories that had contact details of all local businesses for you to get in touch with? The Internet, and social media platforms in particular, are the new-age phone directories, where people go to look up companies and find out who they are. This makes it important for almost all brands out there to have a social media presence that goes beyond old-school advertising and includes content that can turn visitors into followers and followers into customers.
In this world of engagement and traction, memes are the new currency. People scroll their phones to watch memes, catch up on celebrity gossip or view a friend's weekend stories - all before even brushing their teeth. For brands this is no small challenge. They need to ensure that their content game is A-One to hold the audience's attention and leave a lasting impression. Memes, now widely acknowledged as nothing less than cultural artifacts of the Internet era, offer a unique way for brands to connect with their customers. Memes are often witty, relatable and say a lot even in fewer words. And brands are soon coming to this realization. Marketing teams at startups and MNCs are now searching for ways to talk about their brand and sometimes even about their customers through the right meme format. It’s a new kind of an era, where all brands have access to the same meme templates found online, but some seem to hit it out of the park with their apt content, whereas others are still catching up.
For brands that are looking to dip their toes in the arena of meme marketing it’s important for them to understand their target audience - who they are, what they engage with, and what kind of content they find relatable. Keeping a handle on the latest social media trends and following up stories that develop in the real time are prerequisites for brands looking to generate high views and likes. In fact, brands are now roping in young talent to write relatable content for their millennial and Gen-Z audiences.
The final result of any marketing campaign can never be predicted in advance, and brands are now learning that the definition of a successful campaign is changing. Ads that may not rank high in terms of creativity quotient but end up being turned into a cool meme format, are just as successful in being acknowledged and remembered by their audiences. For brands the important takeaway is that they must continue to experiment with trending memes of the internet - for they never know which advertisement may go viral.