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Opinion Piece

A Year in Memes – 2021’s Top 7

Once upon a time –well, not so long ago-, memes were an Internet oddity: you’d stumble upon one from time to time, find it funny, and share it with friends just for laughs. But meme culture has grown to become so prevalent in our social media lives that young, old and even brands regularly share memes and take part in the wider online conversation.

So much so that we thought it possible (and also very enjoyable) to document an entire year by highlighting the memes that went viral. How about you follow us on a walk down 2021 memory lane?

Pop culture shall not remember 2021’s Inauguration Day with a picture of the newly sworn in 46th President, rather through the mittens and brown coat of Sen. Berny Sanders.

Drake dropped a new album and the cover alone broke the Internet, with brands from all walks of life jumping aboard the Certified Loverboy wagon.

Squid Game took over the world and *everyone* found their brand a place under the South Korean sun.

All of the Facebook company apps (now Meta) crashed on a certain Monday, creating a sense of online existential loss. But brands loved it

Kim Kardashian’s dress… As if the Met Gala needed this to go viral!

Brands reminded us all the reasons why we should never, ever ignore red flags and what adopting / refusing to adopt certain brands says about people.

And no, it doesn’t always have to happen somewhere else. The local scene can also see its own memes emerge. Take this tweet from Saudi Arabia that literally started a trend: we’ll never look at ma3moul the same way!

Memes are quick, universal, witty, engaging, and timely. When done right, they can go a long way in raising brand awareness and relevance in targeted online communities. But beware: they’re “content first and ad second”, some sort of inside joke that links the creator, sharer, and recipient. So, know your audience, know what makes them laugh, and get creative.


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Jun 2022

Of Shifting Eating Habits and the new codes of food advertising

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