What is it about those sayings, songs and videos that we all talk about and can’t forget? One takes hold of our attention and we spread it through society much as we spread the flu from person to person. In other words, we’re sharing memes.
Memes (pronounced meems) are the pieces of popular culture, from music to videos to figures of speech, that latch on and spread like wildfire through different media. They are the perfect example of viral message spread – fast moving and unforgettable.
If you are considering adding a viral element to your small business marketing mix, you should take a look at 10 of the most popular memes and what you can learn from them:
Lolcats – an exploding collection of cat photos and videos with hysterical captions. These are the perfect examples of tag lines that take images to the next level.
Keenan Cahill sing-a-longs – an adolescent boy holed up in his bedroom, lip-synchs to today’s hottest songs and posts the ever-so-strange videos on line. Those videos have gotten millions of hits showing us popular culture through a humorous lens.
David After dentist – A seven-year-old boy comes out of dental surgery still under affects of anesthesia. He captures our attention with his physical and mental reactions to being under the influence. A charming look at the human experience, which we can all relate to.
Charlie Bit My Finger – The “cute” factor is at play in this delightful video of two young brothers. Charlie, a finger-hungry toddler is cradled by his brother despite his rather aggressive behavior. The moral here? Everybody loves babies.
Angry German Kid – Honestly, this one is unsettling. A German teen loses his control (and apparently his mind) while playing a video game. This meme illustrates that shocking is contagious.
Where The Hell Is Matt? A video of a guy named Matt dancing around the world. This video captures the small world reality of our globe – showing no matter where one finds him or herself, we still share a basic human connection.
- Dogs Go To Heaven – Nothing better than a serious debate staged in a comical frame.
One Red Paperclip – What if? The potential of creating a great idea, pursuing it and watching it come to fruition is one that captivates everyone.
Rickrolled – Take a random pop star, trick people into clicking onto the URL for his 80s video and you’ve got the newest Internet game – proving anything can be made into a game people will play.
Boom Goes The Dynamite – There’s a reason companies should carefully select the people they choose to represent them. In this meme, a college sportscaster struggles with his newscast with hilarious results.
The magic of memes is that they are unpredictable. We remember the concepts that used humor or startled us with their provocative messages or delivery. The drawback of memes is that once they are flung onto the Internet, their creators have little control over what they will morph into.
Such guerilla marketing tactics are not for the faint of heart, but any PR pro can become inspired by the strange reach and impact of the modern Internet meme.
What is your favorite meme and how do you think it could impact your small business marketing campaigns?
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