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Marketing Karne Ka Kezual Tareeka: Decoding Meme Marketing in India

An open mobile phone, Instagram, a lion, cats, a trophy, a world and people dancing

Moye, Moyee… Bhupinder Jogi, Elvish bhaiiii, dil veech tere liye taim kadh ke, Rasode mein kaun tha, the dancing baby. I know, I know, while reading all this, you are recalling these memes and picturing the same tone and voice you have seen on Instagram, sharing them with your friends.

OF COURSE, memes are meant for that – they’re funny, relatable and sometimes controversial. But memes aren’t just for entertainment; they’re also a powerful tool in marketing. In fact, meme marketing is one of the latest trends in digital marketing right now. Let’s delve into the origin and history of memes, see how brands have used them, understand the benefits of memes and figure out what makes a good meme.

Table of contents 

  1. Meme Marketing Origin and History
  2. Types of Memes
  3. 4 Great Examples of Meme Marketing
  4. What Makes a Good Meme
  5. 4 Major Benefits of Meme Marketing
  6. In Conclusion
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

Meme Marketing Origin and History

The word meme originates from the Greek word mimema which means to imitate.

“meme” word gained attention in 1976 when Richard Dawkins introduced it in his book “The Selfish Gene.” He defined it as a form of cultural evolution involving the spread of ideas, including fashion and melodies.

Fast forward to today, and we have modern memes portraying people collectively expressing cultural symbols and social concepts through visual communication, primarily on the Internet. Duh!

Types of Memes

There are three types of memes: image memes, video memes and text memes.

Image memes

Memes that primarily use images with humorous or clever captions.

A billboard with a shoe advertisement
This image went viral and people started creating text memes on it
Video memes

Memes in video format, often featuring short clips or animations.

Text memes

Memes that rely on clever or relatable text, such as tweets or catchphrases.

A billboard with a shoe advertisement
Check out how Chipotle joined the viral meme trend in a text format

4 Great Examples of Meme Marketing

Now that you know about meme marketing, Let’s look at the best examples of meme marketing from different brands. These examples showcase how brands use memes to achieve their marketing goals and connect with their audience.

Elegant meme marketing by Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals has built a devoted fanbase since its inception, with a blend of captivating and engaging content. Fans are genuinely impressed with their social media strategy, even during times when they may not reach the playoffs. On Facebook, they have 4.15 million followers, on Twitter 1.3 million and on Instagram 1.3 million. They use their key hashtags #HallaBol #RoyalsFamily. The Rajasthan Royals team excels in keeping fans entertained with a mix of trending content. They cleverly incorporate humour and wordplay from popular sitcoms, movies or user-generated memes to connect with fans in various situations.

In this post, they shared an image of the RR team, hopping on the current trend of sharing Spotify Wrapped. Using the Spotify Wrapped template and lingo, they playfully mentioned that people dubbed their team the second favourite franchise a whopping 73,826 times in 2023. Even their caption is smart and witty, with a highlight on their team RR, saying, ‘Your wRRapped is here.’ The Royals’ social media game is truly on point!

Like, sher & comment, meme marketing by sarcastic us

Instagram’s biggest meme page, with 10.1 million followers. It creates and shares memes and dives into meme marketing for series, movies or products, adding a witty twist. Their latest meme hopped on the lion ‘sher’ trend, cleverly tying it to a relatable situation. It joked about the ‘sher’ planning to watch the Sam Bahadur movie on December 1st, turning it into a fun way to announce the film’s release date and encourage people to watch.

On the flip side, it didn’t spare the Animal movie that dropped around the same time. Their sarcastic memes hinted that it might not be the best watch.

Loha meme marketing by Tata Motors

Tata Motors, a leading automobile company in India, has an impressive lineup of cars, trucks, buses and more. What sets them apart? They have leveraged memes to showcase the durability and strength of their vehicles. Tata Motors collaborates with meme creators, owners of big meme pages and influencers to craft and share hilarious, relatable memes. These memes, simple yet original, highlight how a Tata car wins over other cars.

See this example from a meme page which shows that in a car race, it’s a minor scratch for Tata, while the competition is left in bad shape. The caption also says ‘Tata is love.’

These memes are more than a good laugh; they shape a positive image of Tata cars in people’s minds. Quality, durability and safety become synonymous with Tata, influencing potential buyers and boosting car sales. Who knew memes could drive the market? Tata Motors did!

Meme marketing by zoMaito/zoMaato/Jomaito

Zomato’s marketing strategy is a perfect mix of humour, creativity and reliability. This huge meal delivery company has been rocking the marketing game, and what’s their secret weapon? Memes. With its current animal meme marketing campaign, it’s making waves in the industry. Zomato utilises popular memes that depict animals in humorous and relatable situations, seamlessly incorporating them into its marketing efforts. For Zomato, this approach means connecting with millennials and Gen Z, known for spending the majority of their time online and having an undying love for memes. Zomato has demonstrated that humour is a key component in its formula for success, often incorporating pop culture references into its campaigns.

What Makes a Good Meme

The classic and contemporary definitions of a meme provide insights into what makes a good one. It should be relatable and shareable, following the WRIST principles:

Witty

A good meme grabs consumer attention by being witty—making its point cleverly. Remember, a meme is not a brand banner or pamphlet. Memes that simply straightforwardly convey information are likely to fall flat.

Relatable

A successful meme connects with people on a personal level, making it relatable. For example, consider using everyday scenarios or common experiences that your target audience can identify with.

Insightful

More than just a joke, a well-thought-out meme is based on real and relevant human insights that resonate with consumers, getting nods of agreement and smiles. Try to tap into shared experiences or universal truths that your audience can recognise.

Simple

A meme’s success lies in its immediate understanding by the intended audience. It must be straightforward and easily comprehensible. Even a witty and insightful meme will fail if it uses jargon, mixed language, or symbolisms.

Targeted

Your memes should target a specific audience or purpose. Consider the demographics, interests and preferences of your target audience. For instance, if your audience is primarily young professionals, use memes that reflect their lifestyle or work-related experiences.

4 Major Benefits of Meme Marketing

A billboard with a shoe advertisement
Memes can be made for any genre
Higher reach

One of the biggest perks of meme marketing is its universal appeal. Memes resonate with almost everyone and when you use the right hashtags, you can connect with a massive audience. Plus, memes are super shareable, giving your reach a boost!

Huge recall

Things only stick in our memories when they are extremely significant or catch our attention. Good memes have the power to interest users and convince them to stop scrolling through their phones. Posts that make us LOL or that our friends have shared are more likely to stick in our memory. There’s also a decent chance the user will remember your brand if it was a very good meme.

Higher engagement

Comments, likes, shares and brand recall are the biggest perks of meme marketing! They not only entertain but also boost your social media following. And guess what? People don’t mind a meme giving an occasional mention of a great product or service every now and then. It’s all about finding that balance. Follow the 75/25 rule, It says, to make 75% of your memes generic fun and save 25% for showcasing your business or product.

Inexpensive content

Making memes is easy and they don’t always have to be super original. If you’re partnering with a digital marketing agency, ask them to jump on the trend train with memes. It saves both your time and theirs. Using trending memes connects with your customers or followers using content that’s already out there, boosting the chances of your brand going viral. Bonus: no need to stress over resolution or design when it comes to memes!

In Conclusion

Don’t wait to incorporate meme marketing into your business strategy! However, it’s crucial to follow a proper meme marketing strategy. Random actions may lead to controversy or offend your followers and potential customers. For an effective meme marketing strategy, consider collaborating with a social media marketing company that specialises in memes. FYI, we’re here to help at hello@florafountain.com. By the way, if you were able to guess more than three meme references in this blog, you are ready to dive into the meme marketing game!

Frequently Asked Questions

Zomato, AltBalaji, Swiggy, Netflix India, Paytm, Burger King and many other big brands and industries are riding the wave of meme marketing.
Yes, meme marketing is a type of guerilla marketing that uses the element of surprise. This type of marketing, which can be very successful at generating notoriety, depends on unusual and creative presentations to inspire awe or shock.
Figure your target audience and what makes them tick. Once you have got that down, pick memes that hit the right chords. Feeling overwhelmed? No worries! Reach out to a meme marketing agency like Flora Fountain. They will help you create, spread and keep an eye on your memes across different platforms.
On employment job boards like Indeed and Linkedin, typing in the phrase “memes” will produce a list of job positions. Surprisingly, making memes is a full-time career.

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The founder and partner of Flora Fountain, Shefali leads the Content and Technology divisions. A one-time engineer who started her career writing front-end code, she took a detour sometime during her 9 years in New York, studied journalism and started writing prose, poetry and sometimes jokes. She now has 15...

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