Leverage existing memes to help increase the reach and awareness of your campaigns
My mind works in mysterious ways. As I was glued to network news on the night of April 19, like million others, anxiously awaiting the capture of the Boston bombers, I couldn’t wait until the final resolution. As we finally captured the suspect at around 9 p.m. Eastern, the first thing that popped into my mind and I actually wrote in my Facebook page was: “Captured Alive!!!, Keep Calm Boston.” As I was sitting down this morning with my cup of coffee, looking for inspiration to write an article, it hit me like a bag of bricks: Let’s write about the power of the Internet meme.
Anyone with any kind of presence in social media, and I assume that’s all of you reading this, can instantly relate where I got my inspiration from:
Interesting that a poster produced back in 1939 with intention to be distributed to strengthen British morale in the event of a wartime disaster, such as mass bombing of major cities using high explosives and poison gas, became such a popular Internet meme during the past two to three years. Even more interesting, is that no matter how many versions it has created, this past week’s events make the meme’s initial communication objective as relevant, if not more so.
Now you know where I am going. First, let’s define what’s an Internet meme: a concept that spreads from person to person via the Internet. The word “meme” was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book “The Selfish Gene” as an attempt to explain the way cultural information spreads. Internet memes are a subset of this, specific to the culture and environment of the Internet.
Besides “Keep Calm,” you will probably recognize Sweet Brown (“Ain’t nobody got time fo dat”), Grumpy Cat (or any cat picture) and “Texts from Hillary,” to name just a few.
Probably this is not news for you and you are as guilty as I am of sharing and probably even creating your own versions of these or other memes on your personal and/or business pages.