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  • Is reappropriating memes too risky for brands?
  • Is reappropriating memes too risky for brands?
    Fiat (2014) ©

Can brands hijack a meme?

Internet memes were once relegated to the depths of 4chan and Reddit. As memetic content surfaces in the mainstream, brands are looking to incorporate memes into their own ads. But can the spontaneous, bottom-up spirit that makes them so potent really be bottled and sold?

Location Global

Internet memes were once relegated to the depths of message boards like 4chan and Reddit, circulated around a niche user base without ever breaking into the mainstream. But as the most popular memetic content begins to emerge on Facebook and Twitter, brands are looking for ways to incorporate them into their own messaging.

Limor Shifman, author of Memes in Digital Culture, predicts that the reappropriation of memes for commercial reasons will only increase with the mainstreaming of internet culture. But if memes are ‘organically grown’ in small corners of the internet, how can brands capture the spontaneous, collaborative, ...



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