Marketing Director

Meme of the Year Part II: What's in a Meme?

If you haven't read "Meme of the Year Part I: What's a Meme?" reading it first will help in understanding the origins of memes and what they mean to human communication. This year has been all about video memes. Video memes have aided in bringing memes to the mainstream, although the word isn't in common usage... yet. Internet memes are viral, but viral videos aren't necessarily memes.

Let's go back... Way back to 2007. Facebook only had 20 million users worldwide Sometimes it's the act of watching the particular video that is the meme. Today Rick Astley is famous because people are tricked into watching this. The action of tricking someone into watching the video was "Rick Rolling". Here is the origins story of this famous meme from 2007:

Have you ever wondered about the origins of FAIL, Owned or All Your Base are Belong to Us? Well wonder no longer. The following video from my favourite series on modern memes "Know Your Meme" will explain it all. Following this video are the two winners of Meme of the Year...

The first internet meme of the year for 2010 was Double Rainbow. Let's call it our first runner up. Now there are two winners: one from the Organic section and one from the Inorganic or manufactured section. Let's take a look at the Organic winner first...

This meme of the year was produced professionally by a news crew, but it was the video's star Antoine Dodson who has shot to stardom. Bed Intruder was introduced to me on the annual fishing trip I take with my brothers and my father to a fishing lodge where there is no cell coverage, television or internet. My younger brother kept telling to "Hide yer kids, hide yer wife, hide your husband they be raping everybody up in here." These is half of the phrase that made Antoine Dodson and international star. Below is the original news clip:

This video has 7.3+ million views while the second video of the meme based on the song created by remixing his statement has 68+ million views. Antoine Dodson went on to team up with two guys simple known as Autotune The News who took his voice and made a short 20 second sample to get his approval and gauge interest. This was quickly followed by a full length song which has gone on to sell 500+ copies. Here is the song:

Antoine used his cut of the money for the song (50%) to buy his mom a new home among other things. He has been offered a reality TV show, been asked to appear at parties for $20K and appeared on television programs all over the world and the internet. The local news and a guy 'climbing in your window snatching your people up' could lead to such fame. His 15 minutes were topped when he one the first award for Meme of the Year. Here is his acceptance speech.

The third meme is Old Spice guy. Old Spice guy falls into the category of a marketing meme created and then given validation by consumer response, think Super Bowl ads. BUD-WEIS-ER. I will let his video speak for itself and end with an infographic regarding how much of an impact the multi-million dollar social media and television campaign made.

Til next time!

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