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22 Dec 2023

On stressful and hectic days, looking at a meme provides a breath of fresh air and brings a smile on anyone’s face. Memes are all over different social media sites, there are many meme artists who generate memes on the current prevalent issues. The term “Meme” was coined in 1976 by the British biologist which was originally a Greek word “mimema” meaning imitated. It generally means an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for brands aiming to capture the attention of their target audience. One of the latest trends that has taken the marketing world by storm is meme marketing. Memes, once relegated to the realms of internet humor, have now become powerful tools for brands to engage with consumers in a more relatable and entertaining manner.

In the current context what are memes?

Memes are humorous images, videos, or pieces of text that spread rapidly on the internet, often evolving and adapting as they circulate. They are a form of cultural currency, shaping and reflecting the collective consciousness of online communities. Memes can be anything from a simple image with overlaid text to short video clips and gifs. Their humor often relies on shared experiences, inside jokes, or references to popular culture.

Meme marketing has gained prominence due to the shift in consumer behavior towards content that is relatable, shareable, and entertaining. Memes have a unique ability to convey complex ideas or messages in a succinct and engaging manner. Brands that successfully incorporate memes into their marketing strategies can benefit from increased visibility, brand awareness, and audience engagement. Meme marketing helps your brand to become popular without the hard selling and appearing too salesy.

According to a report by BrandEquity (2020), a large proportion i.e. 55% of the people in the age group of 13-35 year olds send memes consistently of which 30% send them everyday. A majority (74%)   of the meme senders or communicators send it with a sole purpose to make individuals laugh. Many a times memes are generated by the audience and not by the brand or the product, which is a boon to the brand as it indicates that people are talking about their brand.  One such popular memes were generated from Panchayat 2 based on the character BINOD, the twitter handles with BINOD were trending for quite some time, which generated all the more interest among audience who had not watched Panchayat 2.

Source: Indiatoday

Few of the advantages of meme marketing are

1.         Instant Connection: Memes tap into shared experiences, making it easier for brands to connect with their audience on a personal level. A well-crafted meme can evoke laughter, nostalgia, or empathy, fostering a sense of community between the brand and its consumers.

2.         Virality and Shareability: Memes are inherently shareable, and they have the potential to go viral within a short period. The social nature of memes encourages users to share content, spreading the brand message organically across various platforms.

3.         Cost-Effective: Creating memes doesn’t require a significant financial investment. With creativity and a good understanding of the target audience, brands can generate compelling meme content that resonates with users without breaking the bank.

4.         Increased Engagement: Memes have a high engagement rate, as users are more likely to interact with and share humorous content. This increased engagement can translate into higher visibility for the brand and improved online presence.

Some of the Do’s and Don’ts for successful meme marketing are

1.         Know Your Audience: Understanding your target audience is essential for effective meme marketing. Tailor your memes to resonate with the preferences, humor, and interests of your specific demographic.

2.         Stay Relevant: Memes can quickly become outdated, so it’s crucial to stay informed about current trends and pop culture references. Being timely and relevant ensures that your content remains engaging and relatable.

3.         Inject Humor, Not Controversy: Humor is subjective, and what one person finds funny, another may not. Avoid controversial or offensive content that could alienate your audience. Keep the tone light-hearted and positive.

4.         Be Authentic: Authenticity is key in meme marketing. Avoid trying too hard to be trendy or forcing memes into your content. Let the humor flow naturally and align with your brand’s voice and values.

Some of the popular brands that have used meme marketing and have gained success are.

Zomato has been using memes extensively. One of the most popular memes is based on the character Daya from CID. One of the most popular memes used by many brands, like the Bombay Shaving company as seen below, is of Muhammad Sarim Akhtar whose disappointed look became fodder for meme-makers.


Source: Bombay Shaving Company

The below meme of swiggy was a part of the launch of grocery delivery. Swiggy smartly played around with one of the most evergreen movie “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” to indicate the delivery of dhania (coriander) a grocery item. The sense of humor injected in memes have the capacity to increase recall among audience.

Source: Instagram

In the current generation, where the attention span of audience is extremely short, memes can create wonders for brands with minimal financial investment, and increasing recall among audience. As most of the memes are based on relevant situations, it also adds to the fact that brands are trying to stay relevant. Meme marketing is here to stay for sure and the more the brands leverage it, the more they will be able to stay connected with the customers.



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