Shane Barker

Shane Barker

Memes are native on social media platforms. They are funny, entertaining, and easy to consume. But there is more to them than meets the eye. Marketing with memes is an understated trend that’s quickly becoming popular.

This practice led to the birth of a new term: meme-jacking. When marketers hijack popular memes to market their products, it’s called meme-jacking.

Meme-jacking is becoming increasingly popular because it’s an excellent way to share refreshing content that has the potential to go viral. Just think about it, who doesn’t like a good meme?

How are Brands Using Memes for Marketing?

So, it’s not surprising that memes have become a cultural phenomenon. Grumpy Cat, Good Guy Greg (GGG), and LOLcats all have one thing in common — they’re all meme characters that are now a part of internet pop culture. They’ve been used in different ways to spread various ideas.

Marketing with memes can breathe new life into your social media strategy. Memes are highly visual, making them a great tool to create social media fodder.

The best part is you can simply take a concept that is already gaining traction and piggyback on its popularity. With memes, there is no such thing as plagiarism.

With the least amount of effort, your shareworthy memes can get you likes, shares, and comments. When you post them on your blog, you can reap the benefits of increased inbound links and website traffic as well.

No wonder brands are jumping in on the meme marketing bandwagon. Here are a few brands that have been marketing with memes:

1. Gucci

#TFWGucci, which is short for “That Feeling When Gucci,” was a campaign designed to promote their new line of watches. In a series of relatable memes, Gucci used memes that ranged from absurd to hilarious. They created all of the memes in collaboration with artists from around the world.

The landing page for the campaign even featured an explainer video on the history of memes for those who were new to the concept. The descriptive captions paired with edgy graphics gave Gucci a refreshing brand makeover.


2. Seamless

In 2014, they came up with a creative concept for marketing with memes. They ideated a series of memes based on nominations for Academy Awards. Called the #OscarNomNoms, Seamless’ meme-series created quite a stir on Twitter.

They re-imagined and designed movie posters to include some crazy food puns. American Hustlebecame “American Muzzles,” while The Wolf of Wall Street became “The Wolf of Waffle Street.”

Needless to say, the #OscarNomNom series won the internet. Their memes went viral for two reasons — timeliness and good puns.

The Academy Award nominations were just announced, so obviously, there was a lot of curiosity around them. By leveraging a popular trend, Seamless was able to position themselves as a brand that could make people laugh.

3. BarkBox

BarkBox recognized this and they leverage dog memes to engage their audience. Instead of promoting their products, they use memes to bring the whole community of pet lovers together.

Because of the relatability of their memes, their followers often tag their friends and comment on the posts.


Tips for Marketing With Memes

There are no set of rules to be followed. But you need to keep a few things in mind while creating memes for marketing:

1. Know Your Audience

So, for example, if your brand is targeting millennials, you could create memes around things that they are interested in.

While marketing with memes, brands need to find a fine balance between promotion and engagement. BarkBox’s marketing campaign got the combination just right.

For instance, Apple TV’s audience is interested in movies. So, many of their memes on Twitter have movie references that will resonate with their audience.


2. Add Originality to Popular Memes

Everyone on the internet is already sharing memes. So, to stand out, you’ll have to put in some effort. Instead of just re-posting the latest memes, get creative with them.

Understand what the meme implies and try to think of ways to align it with your brand or products. You could incorporate your brand’s slogan, name, mission, or simply a picture into the meme for branding purposes.

Ruffles, for example, often weaves their brand name into memes that are going viral. This type of meme-jacking can help your brand become more memorable.

3. Keep Up With What’s Trending

American restaurant chain, Denny’s, is known for having a quirky sense of humor. When Apple launched their new Mac Pro, netizens were discussing how it looked similar to a cheese grater. Continuing the chain of jokes, Denny’s came up with a meme on the same topic.

That’s all there is to remember when you’re making memes for marketing. Just make sure you resist the temptation to go overboard.

Publish memes sparingly for marketing. Posting a marketing meme every day can make it seem like you’re trying too hard to get the attention of your audience.



Originally published at

Shane Barker is the Founder and CEO of Content Solutions and Gifographics. You can connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

Matt Deuitch, Designated Broker   Realtor