Are you still marketing like it’s the 2000s? Find out what makes memes essential in any marketing plan.
Memes at its core are nothing more than symbols that convey messages understood by an audience, just as the hieroglyphics were nothing more than drawings to those that did not understand them, but a writing script that managed to convey messages and invoke emotions in the Egyptians that did.
In recent years, as language continues to evolve - we have managed to come full circle back to a format similar to the drawings of the past albeit with the assistance of audio and moving frames at times, it is now imperative for brands to adapt with the times and adopt memes into their social media collaterals, there is a time and place for everything, and the time to use memes is now.
Proof of its effectiveness has been proven time and time again, from it’s supplementary use towards Trump’s 2016 presidential run - an unprecedented wave of memes was created in support of Trump which positively impacted his campaign by creating undeniable online presence, spreading over the globe to more recent adaptations of memes on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and more recently, Tiktok from official Brand accounts to great success.
Memes provide brands a tool to connect with their audience and convey a message, memes in general appeal to humour, provide a certain degree of relatability and shareability with the masses which is perfect for brand building, awareness and promotions.
One does not need to look far to see more examples of a masterclass in organic reach generation through memes - KFC Portugal, yes KFC themselves - created a meme hopping onto the “happi happi happi” cat trend, garnering a grand total of 4.2 MILLION views, 979.9K Likes, 175K shares, 110.9K saves and 14K comments compared to their Malaysian KFC counterpart that utilised a conventional approach to meagre results as compared below.
Brands will have to adapt to the fast changing pace of social media in order to stay relevant and establish a unique identity to set themselves apart from the mundane corporate tone that worked in the early 2000s - Brands that effectively utilise memes position themselves as current and relatable entities with the ability to demonstrate a sense of humour and personality, fostering emotional connections with their audience.
The best argument for memes is that what become memes are not determined by brands but the market. Participating in meme culture further encourages and ties user-generated memes to your product or service provides brands an opportunity to harness the creativity and enthusiasm of their customers - this relationship of masterfully adapting user generated memes creates a sense of authenticity, as consumers become active participants in the brand's narrative.
By embracing viral trends and adapting them to their brand message, companies can amplify their online presence and increase their chances of becoming part of the cultural conversation. Break away from long form articles and start utilising visually appealing, humorous, relatable, and shareable content, ensuring the continuous evolution of their brand image.
Here are our top 3 favourite examples of brands masterfully using memes to their advantage.
Improvise, adapt, overcome.