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Published on December 6th, 2015 | by KBMOD Community

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Professional Skills Include… Memes?

Justin is a community member and does social networking for his job. If you haven’t already, give Justin a follow on twitter. Anyone can now submit content to the site by following the process at http://kbmod.com/contribute/ .

Recently I’ve been brushing up on my resume, and I’m starting to think more about my current job within the marketing world. I’ve been working for the past year at a communications agency in NYC after graduating college, and I mostly write social media copy for a major tech client. Essentially, it’s my job to create posts that resonate with followers and encourage them to follow a given call to action (“like” our page, go to our website, read our content, etc.).

A new push by the client to re-brand their communications as more human and down-to-Earth has me asking myself – am I a certified memer? Can I use memes to enhance my written copy and increase resonance with our audience? Is this a skill that I could actually put on my resume?

Now, it isn’t news to any KBMOD reader that dank memes are the key to success and happiness throughout anyone’s life. On the KBMOD podcast, the cast discussed the importance of discussing new memes with your significant other.

A young apprentice memer emerges at PAX East 2015.
But what place do memes have on, say, a company’s Twitter feed? In this case, I like to showcase the esteemed Twitter profile of Denny’s Diner. Rather than using the account as a purely promotional corporate mouthpiece, it spouts poetic prose that combines humor with their food. Their top tweet in the past year clocks in at more than 52,000 RT’s, a meme of Chedda Da Connect’s rap ballad about cooking crack cocaine, “Flicka Da Wrist”.

Flicka Da Grits

Undoubtedly, Denny’s had achieved the spotlight and interaction with their audience that they aimed for. In other companies, brand managers might have shot down the idea of a post that modifies a song lyric originating from discussing the production method of illicit substances. The key differentiator for Denny’s is that they understand their audience, and their followers understand the tone and content that they produce. Tweeting a meme like the above, while a risk, is calculated and ultimately successful because of the precedence and brand personality that the account has developed over time.

Let’s look at the other side of the spectrum – companies that try to capitalize on the meme craze and fail miserably. I can’t think of a more cringe-worthy example in recent memory than Aisha Tyler as host for Ubisoft’s E3 conference, stepping into the audience and attempting to pitch a meme for an Assassin’s Creed Syndicate cosplayer.

It was a forced and ultimately un-successful attempt to create a talked-about moment during the show, at least in the way that the marketing executives probably envisioned when they pitched the idea. After all, here’s the meme that Aisha calls the “winner”, eliciting a mere 32 RT’s and 89 favorites. (It’s also worth noting that the meme is a derivative of a line from the TV show “Archer”, of which Aisha voices a main character.)

aisha editedV2

What have we learned today? Quality memes should only be used by certified meme professionals, who understand their target audience and have developed a brand personality that can authentically create humorous content. Memes should not be a forced marketing tool to attempt to cash in on audience interaction. Nevertheless, I’m guessing that in the near future we’ll still see companies struggle and fail to create the next big meme® for their game or product.

As for an answer to my own question? My client (who will unfortunately still have to go unnamed) will have to remain meme-less for now – the brand personality has yet to evolve to the point where I could meme freely.


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