Brands Tackle an Online Foe: The Meme

Excerpt from this article:

Memes — those playful, satirical photographs with clever, sometimes biting captions under them — have long been used on the internet to ridicule the latest celebrity gaffe or highlight a political misstep. However, a surging number of disgruntled consumers are now using memes to target companies to complain about broken products, poor customer service and other negative experiences.

That has big brands scrambling for cover. After all, the viral nature of a meme can have a faster and farther-reaching impact than a single news article.

“The brand becomes a temporary punching bag for many, many people,” said Jay Baer, the founder and president of Convince & Convert, a digital marketing advisory firm. “People will pile on even if they haven’t actually been aggrieved.”

The BBC Dad: Lots of Articles


This was awesome! Here are a bunch of articles, analyses and memes:

  • Breaking Down the Father on BBC Being Interrupted by His Children
  • When the Children Crashed Dad’s BBC Interview: The Family Speaks
  • The Real Reason Everyone Loves The BBC Dad Video:
    “Who can resist a little kid in glasses?” [link]
  • ‘Mommy, Come Wipe Me!’ and Other Perils of Working From Home
  • This Parody Imagines How a Woman Would’ve Handled That Viral BBC Interview

We May Be Leaving the Ken Bone Zone

Excerpt from this article:

The real Ken Bone is still alive and well, of course.

To prove it, he has tried, like any enterprising American, to capitalize on the country’s feverish, bewildering affection by accepting some sort of sponsorship deal from Uber, creating his own “Bone Zone” T-shirt line, and conducting an interview with the people of Reddit on Thursday. Judging from his active account history and the breadth of Mr. Bone’s discussions, they are his sort of people.

The media coverage has been so intense that it inspired one journalist to write existential poetry. In just a few short days, Mr. Bone broke Chewbacca Mom’s land-speed record for permeating our consciousness.

But the pendulum of adoration must always swing back, it seems.

What Chewbacca Mom’s rise to fame tells us about race in this country

chewbacca mom

Excerpt from this article:

…[Chewbacca Mom] Payne went on to receive a bigger prize than most viral stars are used to seeing. Payne, her husband and two children were given a tuition-free attendance to Southeastern University, a private Christian college in Lakeland, Florida… It’s true, free tuition is an oversized prize for such easily begotten fame. It’s also true that the real rewards typically reaped for online success tend to heavily favor insta-celebrities who are white. Content derived from black users of Twitter, Vine, or Snapchat is often sidelined as part of a monolithic Black Twitter. Black users of social media often have a comparable—if not larger—effect on the digital conversation and create moments, pictures, jokes, and movements that deeply root themselves into the mass culture. Yet, as Payne’s success highlights, that’s often ignored when it comes to big payouts for fleeting social media fame.

The most famous example of this is likely the story of Kayla Newman, aka Peaches Monroee. In 2014, Newman uploaded a Vine to show off her new eyebrow threading and famously uttered the phrase “eyebrows on fleek.”

The video popularized, if not coined, the term “on fleek” which has since been used by marketers and clothing companies with zero credit to Newman.… “I gave the world a word,” Newman told Fader Magazine. “At the moment I haven’t gotten any endorsements or received any payment. I feel that I should be compensated. But I also feel that good things happen to those who wait.”


The Emotional Combinations That Make Stories Go Viral


Excerpt from this article in the Harvard Business Review:

Viral content typically evokes high-arousal emotions, such as joy or fear. But new research suggests arousal is just one of the underlying drivers of viral content. High dominance, or a feeling of being in control, may be another key driver behind content that is widely shared.

…Articles with a large number of comments were found to evoke high-arousal emotions, such as anger and happiness, paired with low-dominance emotions where people felt less in control, such as fear. The New York Times articles that received the most comments in 2015 all featured emotionally charged, and often divisive, topics: Amazon’s stringent workplace policies, Kim Davis, a police officer charged with murder, the San Bernardino shootings, the Benghazi panel.

On the other hand, social sharing was very connected to feelings of high dominance, where the reader feels in control, such as inspiration or admiration. This explains why your Facebook newsfeed may be flooded by friends sharing feel-good stories. Some of the most-shared content on Facebook within the past year included titles such as “17 Reasons Why Your High School Best Friends Will Be Your BFFs for Life” (more than 230,000 Facebook shares) and “51 of the Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature” (more than 300,000 Facebook shares).