Thursday, April 20, 2017

Extra Credit: Meme Marketing

Corporations across America try their best to use market strategies that use what is currently considered popular and relatable to the most people at that point in time, and now-a-days this includes the use of memes in their advertisements. Companies use memes in humorous ways that try to appeal to a wide audience who can identify the meme and appreciate the humor behind the advertisement. Companies often take these memes and alter them to fit into their advertisements, which can often involve using a popular meme in a way that alters the way the original meme looks and may even changes its meaning all together. For example, the popular “doge” meme, which are images of a shiba inu doing various things, often include silly sayings such as “such cool” and “much wow” included with the images. This has been adopted by Seamless, a food delivery company who made the advertisement: “Such Takeout, No Calz, Very Amaze.” The Seamless Company turned a meme about a dog into an advertisement about food which completely erases any trace of the original meme, but because the original meme is so popular and well known people will still know the reference and many will enjoy the advertisement. For the people who don’t know the meme, they may think it’s just a weird advertisement. This may not be an effective form of advertising toward that type of audience, but their use of the meme didn’t distort their product, so they are still advertising nonetheless. Besides Seamless using the “doge” meme, other advertisements that use memes include Wonderful Pistachio’s use of the “honey badger don’t care” and “keyboard cat” memes, Clear Channel's use of the “success kid” meme, Hipchat's use of the “Y U NO” meme, and World of Warcraft’s use of the “Chuck Norris” meme. All of these advertisements took a meme and changed its meaning to conform to their product.
The use of meme advertisements has gained popularity on social media, and has in some cases granted a company more recognition and business. The restaurant “Denny’s” has become very popular on social media for its use of internet memes on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Denny’s makes humorous posts with memes which have gained a lot of popularity, gaining thousands of likes, retweets, and reblogs every day. The popularity has gotten so great that some even consider the posts made by Danny's to be memes themselves, often being shared and used by various people on social media. It could even be said that Denny’s has become a meme for its crazy popular and strange but humorous posts. 

This type of advertising has been very successful for them because it allows them to gain a new audience through the younger generations that use social media, while at the same time running normal advertisements of the restaurant on TV to maintain the audience that doesn’t use social media.

Companies’ use of memes is an example of how advertising is so adaptive to the current trends and norms in society that involve new forms of communication. Companies and organizations use memes because they are easy to read, simple to digest, shareable, trendy, popular, to the point, and relatable. Companies rely on memes for social media pressure, and because they reach a wider audience that helps them gain more popularity. This form of communication seems very simple, but it is very effective. It shows how communication on social media is changing and how appealing to what’s popular can be very beneficial for company advertisements. What is also shows is the power of memes and how influential they have become in our society. They have become so popular that celebrities and companies are using them to gain popularity among everyday citizens. The fact that individual memes are also short lived allows for new and better memes to be made every day based on what’s popular at the time. In this way companies can easily keep up with changing trends and stay on top of what’s popular among the biggest groups of people, which should keep the production of memes alive and well for a long time to come. I think the popularity of memes will only increase and adapt in the future to continue to fit societal norms and desires. 


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