Oxford Dictionary defines a Meme as an image, video, text that are typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users. According to a research, 55% of internet users aged 15-35 shares memes every week and 30% shares them every day. Meme culture is definitely a big part of the internet. Big brands such as Netflix, Gucci and fast food chain, Wendy’s, have started incorporating memes in their marketing.
With Gen Z being some of the biggest spenders on this day and age, being relatable to Gen Z consumers is crucial when brands are marketing their products. Relatability increases consumers trust to a brand, increasing brand equity. This post by Wendy’s that can be classified as a meme has gone viral for mocking its rival brand, McDonald’s and Gen Z audience loves it. This tweet has been replied almost 10 thousand times and gained almost 1 million likes showing that comedy is the kind of contents Gen Zs are looking for.
Is it a garbage truck? https://t.co/Fmpwe1nWTL
— Wendy’s (@Wendys) January 23, 2020
Memes are also spread easily, making it a good way to market products fast and wide. The phrase ‘Netflix and Chill’, which is a euphemism for casual sex, has been widely used on the internet since 2015 and is still used until today. The phrase is mainly used for memes and for humour purposes. Netflix took advantage of the fame coming from Netflix and Chill memes and used is as a part of its branding. Since then, Netflix has been shifting its campaign strategy to using a lot of memes and humour.
Lastly, meme culture is bright and fun. Depending what kind of message a brand wants to convey, using memes can be great if the brand is looking to come across as funny and relatable. This also depends on the target audience of the brand. Memes are appropriate for millennials or Gen Zs and will not be as effective for boomers.
All in all, it does not hurt for brands to explore and embrace meme culture. However, brands have to be mindful when using it and ensure that they are using it correctly. When used appropriately, memes can be great marketing tools to increase authenticity and relatability.