Remember the long wait of Sunday’s exclusive comic addition in our young days? Yeah, well, we’ve all been there and done that.
But have you ever wondered what was so special about those comics?
After all, it’s just a collection of funny jokes, patriotism or shenanigans that unfold by dumb characters and it always peeks the curiosity but why, why, why?
Let me tell you a secret- “Because average is boring, being sarcastic, cynical or simply routing for out of box ideas makes all the difference.”
And that is what memes are all about in this age, though that was not how it came into existence.
Want to get a short history lesson?
The origins of memes came into existence in 1976; Richard Dawkins invented the word to describe any common cultural artifact that spreads like wildfire, which was originally related to a virally transferable disease but later bloomed to what we know it today.
Let’s take the heat from all the digging in the past we just did, presenting a meme with its inventor in it.
Coming back to present and defining meme in its modern avatar:
“Meme is a to the point concept delivered through image, video, text, or combination of all, usually humorous in nature, it is easily copied and circulated by Internet users, often with minor variations.”
According to Google Trends, Memes are becoming more popular term than Jesus.
Now that we have level upped are History, and GK lets move to what we all are here for today- Marketing.
We are all aware of marketing, but what is Meme Marketing?
A combination of Meme & marketing strategy is an evolving branch of Digital marketing; that has birthed similar hit concepts in the past.
It has come a long way from Infographics to Guerilla marketing to real-time ads and now Meme marketing.
The strength of meme marketing is that it encourages consumers to become a conduit, and takes the message around because the Meme is more than a trend; it is an inside joke everyone wants to be in.
Thatswhy, when quality content is combined with a meme that crisply introduces characters, and then shifts to climax through a narrative arc, to dropping action, all the way to resolution in just a few short scenes, that’s the point where prospects become customers.
Want to know how memes work as a branding tool?
Here are some guidelines to ensure you create a viral marketing meme:
- Be smooth, but not other-dimensional: Don’t try to sound too cool or sarcastic because that can turn out to be a double-edged sword and psychic out your pre-existing customers due to sudden change in your brand appearance.
- Sound relatable: Just a sliver of the populace can recognize your joke, it’s assured. Don’t try to build a meme that appeals to everyone. Know the target market and then care for their needs.
- Timeline is critical: Some memes are still circulating around, but some have been obsolete, and it’s essential to understand the lifetime so that you don’t come out as someone living under a rock.
- Pay attention to Culture climate: If you are willing to try and experiment with your own memes, then it’s necessary to understand cultural climate and tolerance level is because you don’t want to sound downright rude to your well-earned customers and make them run away.
Let’s take a quick glance at a few big examples of meme marketing:
Netflix brought the everyday situation intermixed with its Megastar Sandra Bullock release-
Birdbox. (Killing 2 birds with one stone?)
Nickelodeon has been in the meme marketing for so long that it has made a tradition out of making a hilarious meme of its most favourite shows ever.
Smile Train is a global children’s charity that works to help children with cleft lip and palate repair. It launched a campaign inspired by famous baby memes in 2015.
Smile Train used a light-hearted and relatable approach to inspire donations instead of the usual ads used by this kind of charity, which also includes grim and disturbing images. The campaign saw Walter, who was nine months old, go on a’ smile strike’ in solidarity with sick kids around the world.
This meme is picked from Super Bowl advertising; the marketing agency is one of the biggest where people bet on. The marketing is all focused on Super bowl that is an annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL).
And this is our personal example of memes in commercial engagement for our brand: Kinex Media.
What we have concluded till now?
If you or your brand belongs to the category of meme depicted below, then put your ears to the ground to know what’s trending and capitalize the digital currency of memes to tap floodgates of leads.
And if you are not from the category, then I have only this to say-
I hope this article helps and you got the insights you need to create your own campaign or mix up from something trending.