Marketing 4 min read

How To Use Meme Marketing To Increase Brand Awareness

Thinglass /

Thinglass /

Brands such as Disney and Netflix have taken significant advantage of the meme culture. Now it has you wondering, is meme marketing ideal for your brand?

To answer this question, we have to start at the beginning.

Richard Dawkins coined the word “meme” in 1977 to describe virality in anthropological settings in his book, Selfish Gene. Needless to say that the concept has evolved since then. 

Memes have become one of the most trending forms of communication in this era. They are so trendy that, according to Google Trends, the word “meme” is becoming a more popular search term than “Jesus.”

And why not?

With their explicit content contained in a small space, memes are often open-ended for users to understand. Not only do people love it, but they also enjoy sharing it too.

As a result, loads of brands joined the meme culture to connect better with their target audience. Whether it’s through GIFs, videos, or texts, memes help brands in various ways.

Furthermore, it provides the social validation necessary to reach specific groups such as the Gen Z or the Millennials.

So, the obvious answer here is yes, meme marketing is for you. Now, this raises another question;

How can you take advantage of this form of marketing?

Using Meme Marketing For Your Brand

Two options exist for businesses that are trying to get into meme marketing. You can either use existing memes or create your own.

Let’s delve a little deeper.

Using Existing Memes

The first thing you must know about memes is their short life cycle. Since they are based on trending events, the marketing technique is only useful for as long as the trend lasts.

Also, your meme must be original and funny. Most importantly, you must fully understand the meaning of your meme before using it.

Why is this crucial, you ask?

Meme meanings evolve, and one that started as an innocent joke could become offensive with time. For example, Pepe the Frog began as harmless but eventually became a symbol of hate.

With that said, you don’t even have to use an existing meme for your brand. Instead, you could create your own.

Creating Your Memes

To be clear, this is an extremely challenging endeavor.

Audiences won’t recognize or trust your meme, which makes it a hit or miss technique. Daunting as it may seem, it’s not entirely impossible.

When done correctly, it could offer more benefits than using existing memes.

To increase its brand awareness and social media engagement, condiment company, Heinz got to implement a meme marketing campaign. Their goal was simple, to earn 1 million impressions.

The co-founder of, Razvan Romanescu, said:

“We created a custom meme for Heinz that fed into the internet’s obsession with arguing, highlighting their brand in an entertaining way. Getting people to debate over a subject usually brings the most attention to it.”

It worked. Not only did the condiment brand receive over 4 million impressions, but it also got over 80,000 engagements across Instagram and Facebook.

This brings us to the last part of this article.

Things to Note When Creating Your Memes

You must abide by the three basic rules to start a meme marketing campaign that’s similar to Heinz’s.

1. Know Your Target Audience

Sounds like a good idea to create memes that everyone will understand, but it’s not.

It’s almost sure that only a handful of people will be able to relate with the content, and that’s fine. So, know those target audience and create something that caters to their interest.

2. Know the Lingo

Not only must the digital agency writing and sharing your memes be native, but they must know the lingo that’s specific to the target groups.

Otherwise, your audience will quickly pick up on it, and it’ll look like you’re trying too hard to be cool. This will ultimately hurt your brand.

3. Know the Trend

While some memes have existed for ages, others are recent and fleeting. The fleeting memes are often time-sensitive and depend on the current event.

So, if you’re creating your meme, pay attention to the trend and make sure that the cultural climate is right. The same rule applies if you’re using existing memes too.

Read More: How Remarketing Affects The Way Consumers Perceive Brand

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