Don’t you know that internet marketing is more fun in the Philippines? Not convinced?
If Chuck Norris says so, no one would dare question this statement. Try adding the opinions of Futurama Fry, Good Guy Greg, Boromir (of Lord of the Rings), and the Creepy Condescending Wonka, and you will understand the power of online memes in internet marketing.
Filipino exposure to memes
Even if you try asking any Filipino internet user at random, it would be quite impossible to know someone who hasn’t encountered an online meme at least once. In a country with more than 29 million Facebook users, any enterprising individual can tap into a very large and diverse audience. Adding the fact that social media keeps most Filipino netizens busy throughout the day, utilizing well-known memes for your internet marketing campaign is actually a great idea.
Essentially, a meme is defined as a concept, which is transferred from person to person within a specific culture. A meme could be any idea, practice, or symbol that is then transmitted through a broad range of communication channels. In an internet-based context, an online meme is basically a concept that has spread through cyberspace, mostly through social networking sites.
A number of interesting characteristics about internet memes include:
- It has the capability of spreading throughout cyberspace in just a matter of days, if not hours.
- One internet meme can evolve into several forms in a very short amount of time.
- Any netizen can relate to a specific meme to a certain degree. Hence, it increases its chances of being shared, liked, or retweeted online.
The Philippines has its own share of online memes, some of which has spread like wildfire and has secured its place in cyberspace. Here are some of the best examples:
- It’s More Fun in the Philippines. The phrase was originally unveiled by the Philippine government’s tourism department as its new tourism promotion slogan. Soon enough, people have been coming up with their own versions that range from the deeply profound to the extremely outrageous.
- BAYO What’s Your Mix? Ads. The original ad was all about mixing and matching in a fashion context. In a matter of days, Photoshop-gifted netizens have made their own interpretation of how things get mixed and matched. The results? Depending on how you look at it, it’s mostly 50% humor and 50% sarcasm.
- Boy Pickup Meme. Originally aired in Bubble Gang (a local Filipino TV show), the short weekly segments took witty and funny pickup lines to a whole new level. Since its introduction, many Filipinos have created their own unique pickup lines ranging from the romantic to the sarcastic.
Using online memes for internet marketing campaigns
Before using online memes for internet marketing purposes, ask yourself, “Would my audience be able to relate to this meme?” Remember, most memes are culture-specific. For example, one meme can tickle an American’s funny bone while leaving a Filipino reader clueless. In a worst-case scenario, choosing the wrong meme could actually offend your audience, causing your campaign to backfire.
Taking the BAYO case for example, applying American-style individualism incorrectly can have disastrous results. The target audience did not take the idea of a superior mixed breed lightly and Filipino netizens came up with their own version of the meme to show their derision. Remember, if you want people to share, like, and retweet your own unique online memes, it should be something they can relate to and appreciate.