How Do You Turn an Ad Into a Meme? Two Words: Dilly Dilly

Excerpt from this article:

…A nonsense phrase from an advertisement set in medieval times has broken through to become a common barroom cheer and online force to an extent that in some ways has exceeded its pre-social-web predecessors.

Dilly dilly.

In an advertisement that debuted in August, citizens of a fictional world approach their king, presenting increasing quantities of Bud Light as offerings. The king names each person a “friend of the crown,” then leads the banquet hall in a call-and-response toast in which they all repeat “dilly dilly.” When a man instead smugly presents “a spiced honey mead wine that I have really been into lately,” he is shuffled off to the “pit of misery.”

The implication is that Bud Light is for you and all of your friends; fancy craft beer is only for yourself.

The ad makers had succeeded in creating a genuine meme, which can’t simply be bought by expanding an advertising budget. Attention in social media is harder to buy than a 30-second spot after a punt.

And while memes churn through popular culture at a rapid pace, they are rarely spawned from television advertisements, a medium that has been hit hard by cord-cutting and ad-skipping technology.

“Consumers today have so many more options and things to occupy their time,” said Andy Goeler, Bud Light’s vice president of marketing. “They’re not waiting for the next ad to come on either their mobile phone or TV. It’s much harder today to break through and to connect with that consumer base out there because of all of the multiple options they’re exposed to.”