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Video memes:Taking popular footage and changing the context, or putting a twist on a familiar concept. Popularmini-animations or video clips like the gif are shared widely. In the example below, a gif from the show 30 Rock can be sharedas a response to someone, or theuser canoverlay text to communicate a message in addition to the visual. Photo memes:Pictures of different people imitating a trendy or recognizable position or action, often with an equally familiar phrase. In the example below, you can see the meme of plankingwhere participants plank on random objects, or in unusual places. Today, memes are familiar images, videos, phrases, characters, and conceptsor a combination of thesethat provide entertaining messages to people all over the world. Typically, a meme is a simple image with a phrase posted over it in block lettering. TakeSuccess Kid for example, this meme features a toddler striking a victory pose with his tiny fist and a look of determination. His face is the backdrop for countless memes about finding success in even the most mundane situations. While most marketers could swiftly identify, if not generate their own memes today, a quick history lesson may shed additional light on how and why these viral images got to where they are today. In 1976, evolutionary biologist and writer Richard Dawkins stated that a meme is essentially the imitation or transfer of a packaged cultural concept among a large group of people. Things like fashion styles, architectural trends, or catch-phrases (Duh! anyone?) passed from person to person are considered memes. Memes arent bound by state lines or cultural differences, though they may adapt over time to better suit certain types of users or local environments. Marketing professionals constantly develop content meant to engage and inspire consumers. Successful online campaigns must meet a specific, and often elusive, combination of factors to go viral. But, some companies have hit the jackpot and earned widespread attention from online consumers through meme marketingthink Most Interesting Man In The World, Grumpy Cat (has her own Lifetime special!) and Left Shark. Memes can be used by marketers to better engage customers and connect with a broader group of people.
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