Brands say the biggest advantage of memes is that they market themselves due to high shareability. “Memes are attractive and entertaining. They are the fastest form of dopamine to hit you. There is user attraction,” says Neha Ahuja, Spotify’s director of marketing.
It’s not just about brands creating memes. Often, significant developments give memes a life of their own, giving brands an unexpected boost. For example, when Zomato made an impressive debut on D-street last year, social media was flooded with memes with Swiggy being the most popular, “main bahut peeche reh gaya na?” (I stayed behind, right?).
Plus, creating memes is easy, allowing brands to capitalize on events in real time, says Amritansu Nanda, Zepto’s chief marketing officer. “Memes are not only highly relevant to Zepto’s young ‘digital native’ audience, but also lend themselves perfectly to a mass segment like grocery stores. On Instagram in particular, we’ve seen strong engagement in capturing topics like corporate life, Mondays, paydays or Bollywood trending references to daily essentials,” says Nanda.
The OTT firm MX Player has also been implementing memes on large social media pages to promote their shows. “One example is the Kaand vs Kalakaar template that was introduced to promote our Matsya Kaand programme,” says marketing director Sandeep Das. Since memes are funny, engaging, and relatable, they get more reach than other promotional content, says Das. Neel Gogia, co-founder of IPLIX Media & Layers, says that memes are more likely to be shared on social media than regular content, as well as have higher retention than short videos. “Brand social media pages are struggling to get engagement. That is why several new age brands have started integrating memes into their social media pages,” says Gogia.