The meme, and how to utilise it

It’s no surprise that marketers love viral campaigns. They’re (usually) cheap, easy to implement and the consumers do most of the work for you spreading it around various websites and notably social media. “Memes” are especially vulnerable to becoming viral. They’re short, funny and relate-able, but they do suffer from one thing: being bloody annoying.

A meme is defined as “an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.” (Oxford Dictionaries) They usually originate in places like Reddit or 4chan, and get posted till they die in those sites. Eventually, sites with less credibility for creating original content pick them up and so begins the cycle of the repost. The repost is exactly what you want to avoid when creating memes or using memes, as the audience quite frankly gets sick of seeing the same thing posted over and over again.

le meme face

The irritating and quite frankly dead “troll face”

Memes such as this annoying thing originated in 2008. 6 Years on, it’s still being reposted in pictures and even some companies facebook pages still use this thing. It’s done, it’s dead and it keeps being revived and revived and it loses all meaning to what it meant in 2008. All of a sudden, you have people using it incorrectly which loses the whole humour of the meme and it becomes a disaster post with people simply ignoring it, or unliking pages because they’ve seen that stupid face 1,000 times over the course of 6 years. In fact, this particular “troll face” meme has sparked another meme where users will use the face satirically to imply that they are children or idiots who have no idea what they’re doing on the internet – not something you want to be associated with as a business.

In order to use memes effectively, organisations will need to either create original content or use existing and relevant (relevant being not done to death) memes to try and sell their products. Another great post I’ve seen is Jagermeister’s Facebook page, who have added a relatively fresh new twist on a dead meme. The “Tag a mate” meme is done to death when its utilised with stupid internet pictures, however Jager has created their own, original art and have added a funny post as well. Long story short, when I’m scrolling the newsfeed amongst the other meme drivel, it’s refreshing to see something original with a fun twist. Needless to say, I usually chuck it a like and get involved.

The Jager "Tag a mate" meme

The Jager “Tag a mate” meme

Regardless, when used properly a short and funny picture which gets people involved is always a good thing for a business. However care needs to be taken to make sure it’s not a repost of a repost as that becomes annoying to people who see the same thing posted constantly. Originality and relevancy is key here.

What do you guys think? What makes a good “meme” to you?

– Tom




  1. It’s funny I’d never really thought about the fact that there are even trends in memes. I think the thing I like about a meme is when it calls you out on something you think only applies to you, and it turns out thousands of others can relate to it. EG ‘I don’t always make a witty post on Facebook, but when I do it gets ruined by the comment of a lame older relative’. Thought that was just me! Seems like the key is for companies to be the voice of their customers and be the first to say the things we’re all thinking. Jäger have done a good job of that here. Enjoyed your post 🙂


  2. I have always thought of memes as a source of stress relief but never really imagined the use of memes in organizations. Interesting connection made there ! can’t wait to read more 🙂


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