Many Baby Yoda.
Much Area 51.
How to Meme?
You’re probably seeing him now. Doge the adorable Shiba Inu dog who went viral in 2013 along with their iconic comic sans sentence fragments (so scare).
Memes have a unique ability. They penetrate the subconscious and impregnate it with ideas. Even if those ideas might be innocuous 90% of the time, they’re still there floating around in your mind ready to be activated at a moment’s notice.
What if that idea were your brand? What if it compelled people to buy your product or use your service?
While memes aren’t technically considered subliminal messaging, they can help you expand your reach. Plus, they’re just plain fun.
Today I’m going to show you the ropes. So why don’t you sits where you fits and i haz show you da wey to the best meme-marketing tips on the internet.
What Is a Meme?
Most people know memes as the silly viral images coupled with silly statements we see buzzing around the internet. Memes don’t have to take this form.
A meme is merely a concept, behavior or idea that spreads virally through culture (today that happens through the internet). Recently, the Star Wars franchise tv series The Mandalorian introduced a few non-image-based memes into our culture. The catchphrases “This is the way” and “I have spoken” evoked both emotion and irony as they spread through our discourse.
Tunes, especially in the era of radio dominance, are a type of meme. Ever get a song stuck in your head? It goes on and on, my friend.
Ad agencies used to use musical memes to advertise their products. These “jingles” were instantly recognizable to anyone who regularly listened to the radio or watched tv.
Even an image devoid of text can be a meme. Mona Lisa’s smile, George Washington’s profile are a couple of examples. The image becomes an idea rather than a mere conglomeration of color and shape. That idea becomes universal.
Then, can an object be a meme? Oddly, no. A meme is only information. Empire Promotional Products couldn’t claim one of their water bottles was a meme in and of itself. They could instead claim that an image printed on one of their water bottles was a meme.
Thus, the bottle is a meme vehicle just as the canvas on the famous Mona Lisa is a meme vehicle. Even the paint on the Mona Lista itself is not the meme and neither is the sound of a “jingle.”
Memejacking as Marketing
Memes are likely one of the best online vehicles for marketing. In this article, we’ll mostly be dealing with visual memes and even more specifically the lowbrow memes we see go viral on the internet.
Why? Because they’re both easy to “steal” and they’re already embedded in the consciousness of your audience. We’re not trying to create our own original memes. We’re not trying to create a phenomenon. Our only aim is to use memes as a shuttle for our marketing brand and reach.
Memes You Can Totally Jack and How to Use Them
You might think, “man, memes wouldn’t exactly fit with my brand image.” And maybe you’re right. Not every brand should try to wield the meme. They may not fit your professional tone.
For the rest of us, we’re going to say that the occasional use of a meme is safe for normal consumption. Everything in moderation, right?
So, here are a few memes and how you might use them in your brand marketing.
Kermit the Frog Here
Did you know that Kermit the Frog drinks Lipton tea in the morning? If you didn’t, you likely don’t use the internet correctly. Eh, but that’s none of my business.
See, Kermit is such an innocent and wise figure in the Muppets, but here he’s become a little sarcastic and ironic. In the popular meme, he points out an inconsistency or a truth you should be privy to but aren’t and then says, “but that’s none of my business.”
If you’re an SEO company, you could say something like, “if you posted quality search-optimized content weekly on your blog, your SERPs might not suck…but that’s none of my business.”
Everyone will hear Kermit’s iconic voice and get a little bit of a chuckle at the same time.
Baby Yoda Meme
Another little green dude recently forced his way onto our screens and into our hearts. “Baby Yoda” is his name(ish).
Baby Yoda is an odd phenomenon. This last year we saw a Star Wars TV show pull one of the most brilliant marketing moves on the planet. They kept the most marketable character a secret until the show released.
This meant no toys. But it also meant no leaks. The secret was better kept than anything JJ Abrams could achieve with his black boxes.
Baby Yoda exploded once the secret was out. His adorableness was so undeniable that he became a meme. He encapsulated all of our childish glee and expectations and nostalgia. Even people who haven’t watched the show know who Baby Yoda is.
It really doesn’t matter what you do with the Baby Yoda meme, you’ll probably get likes, shares, and engagement just because of his adorableness.
Some Memes Expire
Be careful. You don’t want to be behind the curve. Just like yesterday’s news, popular memes can expire. This is especially true for memes attached to specific events.
For a while there, you could have mentioned Area 51, made a joke about storming Area 51, and your content would have gone viral. Now, if you used the same references…crickets.
Why? Because that was an event about hype. The memes were only good as long as the hype lasted. As I recall, the hype lasted approximately one week after the slightly disappointing “invasion.”
Before you hop on the meme-train, do your research. Use something current. Something that’s going viral. You’ll be more likely to increase your reach and see your content fly.