We’re in a time now where literally anything can go viral to put it simply. Whether it’s a Gorilla getting killed (R.I.P.), a Spongebob Squarepants image resurficing and becoming the latest meme, or simply a commercial so bad it gets people talking. The potential to go viral is always there and it’s incredibly unpredictable. Most recently, scrolling through my feed and reading about the “male romper”, titled “the RompHim had me thinking. This was a start-up company that launched on Kickstarter and was getting made fun of so much online that I thought to myself: “no way this is going to take off”.
Me helping my dawg put on his romper before we hit the town pic.twitter.com/lFfZbE4RK3
— Slim (@Humble_Slim) May 16, 2017
Making sure nobody in the bathroom before I take my romper off to pee in peace pic.twitter.com/ek9rPX9Hdk
— … (@ktgonkt) May 16, 2017
And here’s the thing that had me puzzled. Despite all the jokes on social media, the RompHim has reached over $360k on Kickstarter with an original goal of $10k. Is the secret to a product launch to be “memed” to death? I mean it clearly works right? With over 3100 backers, there’s a clear market defined to explore and advertise…whether we want to admit it or not. Generally, or at least the way I remember it, when people make fun of a brand, they don’t typically go around purchasing products from said brand, but maybe that’s just the old way of thinking. Have the rules changed? Does this now mean that Pepsi’s sales will explode or that Fyre Festival will sell as many tickets next year as they did this year?
The fact of the matter is that any publicity is good publicity at this point. Whether your brand is getting pulled a part on social media, the takeaway is that at least people are talking about it. Can you force virality? Nope, and this is what makes it perfect. The narrative can’t be controlled or bought by a brand, since it belongs to the general public itself.
Needless to say I won’t be buying a RompHim any time soon. However, the roll out has done the company wonders. Not just on a financial scale but also in the social space. This makes you wonder if memes can translate into sales. All it really starts with is the trial of a product. The viral aspect will create the necessary reach, and the rest is on your brand.
Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.