November 13, 2012 | By:

Making a Mean Meme

Business Cat, Philosoraptor, Overly Attached Girlfriend, Success Kid: You may not recognize the names, but you’d definitely recognize the images. They’re all memes that have gone viral.

What is a meme, anyway? According to Wikipedia, a meme is an “idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture” and “acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices.” In this case, the units are themed images with various (usually humorous) messages.

Most memes are created for fun and entertainment, but businesses are increasingly finding their inherent virality an effective tool for creating brand awareness. Sites like,, and someecards make it easy to quickly generate a custom meme.

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge, here are some tips for creating a memorable meme:

Make sure your meme is organic to your business

Find an aspect of what you do that would make a great meme; don’t find a great meme and try to make it fit into an aspect of your business.

Make it universal

Be sure the humor you’re using is something everyone can appreciate. You may have a hilarious in-joke within your office, but the rest of the world may not get it. If they don’t get it, they won’t share it. When in doubt, show it to somebody outside of your business and note their reaction.

Know your meme

Do some research and make sure your message fits the theme of the meme. For example, if your “Most Interesting Man in the World” meme doesn’t start with “I don’t always…,” you’re doing it wrong.

Use your business name with caution

You want to bring attention to your company, but it defeats the purpose if it comes across as a blatant ad. Consider using your business name and URL as a watermark on the meme, or consider doing something similar to what Totino’s did by partnering with someecards.

Be sure your message is appropriate to your audience

Some of the most successful memes are a little edgy, but give careful consideration to how far you want to go with innuendo and double entendres.

If you’re thinking about creating a meme for your business, or you’d just like some advice on creating good viral content, we’re on top of the latest trends – give us a call at 888.420.5115.

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