What is a meme?
The word meme is derived from the Greek word “mimēma” meaning imitation. Social media plays an essential role in the production of memes and their popularity among the youth. The widely accepted definition of a meme is that it is a unit of cultural information by imitation, through the visual medium.
It is in 1976, the word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins, British Biologist in his book titled The Selfish Gene. According to BBC news, the first meme to make its appearance on the internet was themed around “expectations vs reality” in 1921.
The Meme Culture
The meme culture branches from the popular culture; it revolves around viral content and uses humour to spread information. At first, the function of a meme was nothing less than a joke, which the netizens would read and eventually forget. But with the emergence of the internet, people are constantly on their phones, coming across various memes, sharing them personally or on their social media walls.
You can say, memes have become an important part of our life. They are as common as doing your daily chores. With the growing trend of memes, now they are being used as references in conversations, YouTube videos, and even in lectures. The best part of memes is that they are effective, can be used to spread awareness creatively, and literally anyone can make them.
How are memes effective in the digital era?
Memes just don’t exist for entertainment but they are also an important strategy in social media marketing adapted by several startups and big companies. Yes, memes are the new slang for this generation and the advertising sector is using memes to their advantage.
For instance, memes are a form of infotainment (Information + Entertainment). Businesses now use memes to understand their target audiences’ interests and accordingly produce content that can make people laugh and make them aware of the brand. A good meme stays on the internet for a long time, which means people will not forget the information easily.
Secondly, the visual medium is considered to be the most impactful medium when it comes to spreading information. Creative memes with vibrant colours and unique theme eye-catching.
Finally, the process of creating memes is fun and doesn’t consume a lot of time. To make our lives easier, there several meme generators available online. They are also cost-effective, reach a large audience, and make people laugh (which is a good deed). If the memes are shared timely, with accurate information in a minimal format, it can reach your target audience easily and go viral over the internet.
Here are the top five memes of all time:
The grumpy cat is originally named Tardar Sauce who became internet famous in a very short period. In May 2019, we lost the Grumpy Cat, but he will live on forever through memes and in our hearts. The expression of this cat is relatable, hence it is popular on the internet.
This iconic meme is taken from Muppets Most Wanted where the frog, faces his evil side. Memes using this picture of Kermit talking to Evil Kermit is the representation of ourselves when we are fighting our demons.
The kid’s real name is Sammy Grimer, framed at the right time his expressions portray one should celebrate the smallest of victories. It’s a highly used meme to express our small celebrations in life.
This meme features the main character Fry from an animated series Futurama, which aired on TV from 1999 to 2003. His expressions mean that he is confused about everything and that sometimes explains how each of us is in a state of confusion more often than we realize. This particular shot was taken from the episode, The Lesser of Two Evils.
The Most Interesting Man
It was originally a beer commercial for Dos Equis Beer starring Johnathon Goldsmith. Later on, his image became a popular meme which usually portrayed how we continue to be calm even if we are in trouble.