Memes. What began as fun cartoons to get a laugh out of viewers has turned into marketing vehicles capable of going viral almost instantly.
These amusing cartoons and captioned images speak to everything from being a mom to poking fun at public figures; they engage users and are shared freely. Simple, fun, and well-received, memes are here to stay.
Enter meme-jacking. The practice of hijacking popular memes for the benefit of marketing your brand or product is an excellent, simple way to engage established followers while reaching out to a new market.
What exactly is a meme?
The term “meme” was first introduced in 1976 by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins; it comes from the Greek word mimema, which means “something imitated.” It was first meant to describe humans’ method of transmitting social memories and cultural ideas and truths to one another—ideas that travel from one mind to another.
Now, almost exclusively online and available in various forms, memes are concepts that spread from one person to another in viral fashion. They can be written words, spoken phrases, images, or videos.
Why meme-jacking works
When exploring marketing options, the idea of using a meme may not have occurred to you, perhaps because of the seemingly complicated nature of creating them. This is where meme-jacking—or, as it’s sometimes called, “meme-vertising”—comes into play. By using an already established meme, most of the work is already done.
Need more convincing? Here are five other reasons that meme-jacking is a successful marketing tactic: