What Do You Meme? The Rise of Memes In Advertising

by: The Knowledge Group

December 11, 2017


In order to be effective, advertisers have to keep up with the trends of the time, constantly looking for out-of-the-box ways to leverage these trends for their benefit.

One prominent online trend that digital advertisers are jumping on is memes. For those unfamiliar with memes, the term is defined as “a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.”

While the entertainment potential of memes would certainly seem to far surpass the advertising potential at first glance, the truth is that these internet sensations offer a lot of value to digital marketers, and many high-profile figures and companies have already cashed in.

During his Presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s team made use of memes in order to virally communicate messages to his base. In another example, the pain relief company Excedrin is jumping on board the currently popular “Browns Perfect Season” meme in order to market its medicine, saying that Excedrin is the perfect solution for the headaches Browns fans must be having after their team has yet to record a win this season.

Of course, online sentiment towards memes is a fickle thing, and there are plenty of examples of meme advertising failing badly as well. For now, though, meme advertising doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and it’s up to the most clever, culturally-in-tune marketers to figure out how to make the most use of it.


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