Brand Names and their Memes.

For today’s Q&A we will discuss brand names and memes, and how one simple moment can turn anything into a meme.

((For any confusion on what a meme is, check my earlier post titled, “Q&A: What is a meme?”))

Some companies have become a meme and it has helped grow their brand or, in a few cases, shrink their brand. I’ll talk about both in this post.

To get things kicked off let’s talk about beer.

If you ever want to know the greatest way to advertise, just look at how beer/alcohol companies make their ads. They have to do something that seems near impossible with their ads – feature no drinking. A seemingly tough task, right?

So, here is what happens when you stick a bunch of created minds in a room with whiteboards.

Dos Equis: Dos Equis has been around for some time but until it was aquired by Heineken back in 2010. It had been somewhat off the map. Until one day someone thought of a commercial. One that had an older man who was deemed “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” and he drops one simple line in the whole thing, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis…Stay thirsty, my friends.”

Sales for Dos Equis have risen about 17% since the ads began. However, its owners, Heineken, have dropped in sales. Since his release, the “Most Interesting Man in the World” has become a meme, and has been parodied by people across the Internet.

A locally known brand for St Louis residents continues to be the beer juggernaut. Anheuser-Busch is always trying to keep it’s loyal fan base and has quietly stolen a widely used phrase and turned it into their slogan with just simple stating, “Here we go!” A simple catch phrase used by many just in any activity like sports, homework, driving, etc. is now linked to your mind as a slogan for Bud Light. It’s a subtle statement that is used often in culture, thus making this small simple phrase, a social meme.

Dos Equis, Old Spice, Bud Light, Mayhem (Allstate), and many other companies have become memes. If you want to see a commercial that is just nothing but memes here is a drink commercial made for Vitamin Water. The commercial contains nine memes in total.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRQFJF6OV4g

Now, for the example of how you become a bad meme. Recently Apple sued Samsung over copyright infringements. Eventually they won, and to the Internet we go! As I have said before, creative posts on the internet usually follow the order of 4chan, Reddit, Stumbleupon , 9gag, and then finally Facebook. Just on 9gag alone, within the first few minutes of scrolling, I found 8 anti-Apple posts. Not a good sign.  This post just about sums up all of the other post about Apple. So be careful of what your company does. Though Apple may be in the right away, and via the United States Court System they are, doesn’t mean that you come out being the good guys.

Other ways that memes can change a brand is on the personal level. 

Meet Zeddie Little, he is known as “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy.” While just running a marathon, he quickly became an Internet sensation and even had TV interviews afterwards – all over a single photo. He now has a fan page with over 90,000 fans, over 8,000 followers on Twitter and a Tumblr page, as well. Not bad for a simple photo of a man running

Memes happen all the time.

They come and go with societies and the use of the Internet. It’s tough to make one happen and guarantee success. But through your slogans and campaigns, or actions, you can find yourself being on the rise to fame. Slogans, commercial campaigns, and smart marketing can grow your brand tremendously. And most importantly, usually at a much lower cost than expected because a great thing about the Internet is that almost everything is free!

Blog written by Scott Criscione, Social Media Strategist

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