Marketing Memes… They Suck
Nothing makes me roll my eyes to the back of my head like marketing memes. Anyway, chances are you’ve seen these monstrosities rear their ugly heads in your Facebook feed from time to time. What makes marketing memes so cringe-worthy, you ask? Well, you see, marketing memes are piss-poor corporate attempts to use pre-existing memes, and in some cases create their own, for the sole purpose of selling you their products or services. However, the problem isn’t that they’re using memes. No, no, it’s that they’re so bad at it.
Why Are Marketing Memes So Bad?
I don’t know if it’s because these companies often hire fresh-faced 18-year-old college girls with no marketing experience since they purportedly “know what’s hip”, or because their marketing managers are out-of-touch with reality. Really, I don’t know, it could be both! But I do know that marketing memes are abysmal for two reasons: they’re too much of an obvious attempt to sell and they’re often used incorrectly.
For example, I was peacefully scrolling through my Facebook feed one day when I saw the “Fry Squint” meme appear in a “suggested post” (*cough* advertisement *cough*). You know, the meme that’s often captioned, “Not sure if… Or…”? There are plenty of ways to use this meme without butchering it, but this company decided on not only using text that had nothing to do with the meme itself, but to obscure the image with what appeared to be a full-on advertisement.
I don’t have a screenshot of the meme, but this is essentially what it looked like:
These aren’t just one-off occurrences, either. In fact, these corporate memes have such an infamous reputation that there are Twitter pages dedicated to them.
Now, I’m not going to lie, I’ve used memes myself, mostly as featured images for my articles. However, I don’t like the idea of using them to promote products. Besides, I think it takes a person who understands both memes and social media marketing to pull this off effectively.
That’s all I have to say. If you want to see more examples of corporations abusing memes, read this article on Internet Gawker titled, “Corporations’ Sad Attempts at Using Memes: Death Is Too Good for Us“.
Since social media marketing isn’t really my forte, if you’re interested in knowing how to use memes without looking like a complete dolt, read BrandingBeat’s article titled, “7 Things Marketers Should Know About Memes (The Ultimate Meme FAQ)“