Bud Light Seltzer announced in September 2020 that it was looking for a chief meme officer. For anything except conceptualizing memes, a three-month position to endear the company to a wider audience. Interesting, isn’t it, to see how far the phenomenon has progressed?
Before this, Michael Bloomberg was the only candidate who implemented a dedicated meme activity during the 2019-2020 Democratic presidential primaries. Granted, it didn’t get him to where he wanted to be ultimately, but it played a significant role in generating the word-of-mouth and media chatter that was needed by his campaign. Just do an online search for media coverage and you have probably come across a Michael Bloomberg meme during the first quarter of 2020 at some point.
Let us examine where we are today: our present reality is one where, for much of 2021, a large segment of the population will continue working and study from home. As such, when it comes to any form of entertainment and commerce, a plethora of smart devices are their first port of call. The use of smartphones has dramatically increased. The use of social media has spiked. More business than ever before is seen in streaming services. At the same time, before our very eyes, the 5G and Internet of Things ecosystem is crystallizing, improving technological capabilities and our online experience, as well as proving to be a huge benefit for the consumption of video content and AR/VR.
Add to this the continued participation of the generation of TikTok and Instagram, and shareability and content virality may just be what brands need to consider strongly in what may yet prove to be another challenging year ahead.
Such ingredients provide nothing short of a winning strategy, and meme culture could not prosper in a more perfect environment.
Also, let us not be quick to forget that the inadequacy of an actual social sharing function within the platform was one of the biggest factors behind Quibi’s high-profile failure. In the year 2020, imagine that.
There could be no greater way to grab a slice of the pie as markets become more and more saturated, and more and more brands compete aggressively for voice share. This could even herald a future in which meme marketing becomes a primary instrument in the arsenal of influence campaigns. It certainly does not seem that Michael Bloomberg and Bud Light Seltzer have downplayed its importance.
In a career field where there seems to be no lack of voices preaching boldness, innovation, creativity, and thinking outside the box when it comes to marketing, it might just be a step in the right direction to assign a full-time leader responsible for meme marketing. I would go a step further and ask why this has not already been done.