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Malick Ba

I Dream of Memes: Internet Culture and Influence

April 18, 2017

About a month ago, I was having a discussion with Dak about the Grammys. While none of us actually have cable, we both knew of several alternative ways to stream the event on the internet. When I had asked him if he’d tuned in to the “prestigious” (I use that term lightly…Re: Cee Lo Green) event, Dak simply said “I watched it through Instagram.” From that alone, I figured Instagram broadcasted it live, but no. What he meant was that he kept up with it through the influx of memes that had come out about it (again…Re: Cee Lo Green). That had me thinking a little bit. Is this how people keep up with events now? Live updates are nothing new, but memes have almost transcended actual text or broadcasted information.

Remember when people live tweeted events on Twitter? This is exactly what memes have become. This isn’t subject to the Grammys either. Think about it. If you’re like me and are extremely active on Instagram, you’d know that there are memes about literally every big event. NBA finals? There’s a meme for that. Grammys? There’s a meme for that. U.S election? There’s probably memes about that disaster every single day.  The point is that meme’s are apart of internet culture in ways that I never really thought of. While I still think doing research and not taking everything you see on the internet at face value is still extremely important, but memes are accessible to youth culture. Dare I say that this is one of the reasons why Twitter is becoming replaceable?

While I know people are still actively live tweeting, but just based on the number of meme accounts that exist on Instagram, there is always some sort of way to provide information in a comical way. It’s interesting to see the progression of meme culture. It works so quickly that within moments of any big event you can guarantee that someone online is in the process of making a meme about it. At the base root, it’s influencer content. If you own a popular meme account like fuckjerry or Daquan, you have the ability to post content through memes that may influence someone’s train of thought on any given subject matter. While it does seem a bit ridiculous to say that memes equal quality and truthful information through these influencers, the point still stands. People use memes to present information (comical or not).

That’s a lot of information to take in about internet content, but I really feel like memes are a prime example of alternative journalism. The culture around them for the most part is rooted in humour, but the fact that Dak was able to keep up with the Grammys without actually watching it on TV or tuning into a live stream was proof that they are important. Important in not only providing comical relief for events that may be serious, but providing information to a generation that’s not necessarily tuned into traditional media outlets.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.


Try My Weight Loss Tea, It Really Works: The Influx of Instagram Influencers

April 1, 2016

Guest Article By: Nikki Sin

Social media can be an incredibly beneficial tool for marketers, users having the ability to not only filter what content they see on their timelines, and feeds but also create their own content. Typically loyal customers will follow the accounts of their favourite companies, but what are the smaller companies to do? This is where influencers come in; Influencers are social media celebrities, those with either a large following of fans, or those who hold an audience of followers who would represent a target audience for a campaign.

As someone who falls into the second category I promote select brands on my social media accounts based on the quality of the product, company values, and arrangement with said company. The typical influencer is reality TV stars, Youtube stars, and bloggers. More recently though, high list celebrities have made their way into the game. Kylie Jenner, Sarah Hyland and Vanessa Hudgens have both promoted weight loss/detox teas on their Instagram and Snapchat accounts.
The general readership of my website is the target demographic of the products I receive offers to promote, and the products I currently promote.

fit tea

The premise of the arrangement is always company based, I’ve received offers to promote several brands where I am expected to pay full price for the items, and then post photos of myself with said items, and a sale code. The general agreement is product for promotion, and then payment can be based on sales linked to your website/account i.e sales codes.

So how does it work? Generally a company will use social media to “discover” an influencer based on their followers, and content. Some companies will attempt to contact you via direct message but that signifies that they are not very familiar with the process, or marketing. An e-mail is usually the best route, it will outline the agreement of products for social media promotion, a “script” for postings, and a list of benefits for influencers. It seems like a pretty simple deal, and most of the time it can be, I have however encountered some shady deals. At one point I was offered a commission/percentage of each sale of an item on a Korean fashion site when a customer used the discount code NIKKISIN. I never saw a dime of any sales, and I watched a friend use the code so I knew it had been used. As well the company created a new offer where I would receive an item for every five posts/mentions, again I never received any items. So it is important to get everything in writing, and know the brand.

You’re probably laughing right now wondering why anyone would purchase a product just because a celebrity, or Z list blogger like myself posted a photo with it; Consumers trust the products because they trust the post from the influencer. The truth is that even posting a photo with a logo in it is advertising for a company, we all contribute to this mass machine of social media advertising, and click bait.

Nikki Sin

Pop Culture & Lifestyle Blogger- Marketing Student – Failing Actress- Unicorn -6Goddess
As a former writer, and film critic for The Wax Museum, Nikki Sin dove into the world of blogging on her own to create her own pop culture, and lifestyle website writing about music, low budget horror films, fashion, fitness and weekly interviews. Having graduated from Humber College from a media program Nikki decided to make her way to the business side of the industry by studying advertising and marketing where she met the guys at MAD Mix. Check her out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.