Browsing Tag

meme

Dakarai Turner

Why The #OneChipChallenge is the Perfect Branded Challenge

November 7, 2017

It seems as though every few months for the last couple of years, there has been a challenge of some sort that takes the internet by storm. Whether it’s the Mannequin Challenge that was started by a class of students, the Water Bottle Flip Challenge, The Running Man Challenge, The So Gone Challenge, or even the Cinnamon Challenge. We’re always on the edge of our seat to see which crazy challenge will pop up next.

 

Why do we like them? In my opinion they are just simply fun to do and they feel authentic. You’re able to join an online movement and participate in something with your friends, challenging others in the process to do the same. Now, one thing that is consistent in most of these challenges is that they aren’t branded. There isn’t a mastermind brand trying to drive sales of cinnamon powder by challenging consumers to eat a spoonful, or there aren’t water bottle companies that are encouraging you to do a bottle flip. The challenges are made by regular people and popularized once the bigger accounts begin to participate.

Now that’s how it used to be, until I came across the #OneChipChallenge. For those of you that are unaware, Paqui, a chip brand founded in Texas has issued the #OneChipChallenge in which they claim to have the world’s hottest chip. One box that features one Carolina Reaper chip. Consumers are encouraged to record and post a video of themselves eating the chip to be for a chance to win prizes ranging from a one year supply of their chips, to a neon sign of the Carolina Reaper.

To provide a bit more context, these chips are now completely sold out.  But not to fear, they are going for $40+ on Amazon if you’re feeling rich. Yes, a box containing a single chip. The challenge became even more well known after NBA legend and analyst Shaq ate one on ‘Inside the NBA’. This immediately made me wonder if other brands can work a challenge aspect into their campaigns. I’m not talking about the typical “submit your idea for our latest product, or answering a generic question on social media to be entered to win. Paqui was able to take the factor that differentiates them from other chip brands to their forefront.

However, for this to work for a brand, it will need to be authentic and make sense at the end of the day. Paqui was known for making hot chips, so creating a Carolina Reaper chip and issuing a challenge spoke to what the brand represents perfectly. Would this kind of challenge take off as well as it did if Lays was the brand behind it? You be the judge.

 

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 TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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.

Dakarai Turner, Malick Ba, Weekly Recap

2016 Annual Recap – The Top 5 Highlights of the Year

December 30, 2016

It goes without saying that 2016 has been quite the year. We’ve witnessed a controversial new president become elected, a fairly high number of celebrity deaths, and of course a plethora of great memes. With all of this going on, we wanted to put together five key moments of the year in relation to advertising and marketing. Check out our recap of 2016 below.

Written by Malick and Dakarai.

 

Instagram’s Competitive Year

Instagram’s new logo introduced in 2016

M: Instagram made some serious competitive moves in 2016. As any frequent Instagram user would know, the ability to display a photo or video for a limited period of time on their profile (also known as a “Story”) was added into the photo sharing app this year. The addition of this allowed fun instances in time to be displayed to whoever is a part of your network. The significance of this more importantly shows competitive action to Snapchat (who basically invented the idea of the Story). From personal experience, a lot of people in my network use their Instagram Story to link off to their Snapchat handle which seems to be counter productive from Instagram’s standpoint, by adding this function in it allows for insight on Instagram’s development from a competitive point of view.

 

Recently, Instagram also added in the ability to “like” comments on someone’s photos which was not previously available. With the importance of staying competitive in the social media game, these additions have really allowed Instagram to develop into an all-purpose platform rather than strictly having the app used for photo sharing. That being said, it will be interesting to see how it develops further in 2017.

Pokémon GO Goes Global

D: If you had told me in 2015 that a year later I’d be walking around downtown staring at my phone and catching Pokémon, I probably would have laughed in your face. To the world’s surprise, this is exactly what happened this past summer. The augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go was an instant success from the day it was released on the app store. It became quite normal to walk outside and see groups of tweens, teens, adults, and even your grand parents walking around with their phones stuck to their faces in hopes of catching that evasive Pikachu. Because of the games early success, we saw quite the phenomenon with large corporations and small businesses getting involved.

Over the summer, retailers began to offer incentives such as discounts, free WI-FI, and phone charging stations for Pokémon Go players. Fast-forward to the end of 2016 and the game is certainly not as popular as it was in the summer. However, the brand is still trying to figure out new ways to keep the game alive! It will be interesting to see what they do in the new year.

 
R.I.P. Vine

King Bach, Vine star

M: While we did talk about this in one of our previous recaps, Vine’s disappearance from the social media world was a hot topic in 2016. In 2013, Vine was the most innovative, interesting, and entertaining platforms that I’ve ever witnessed. Users could record short video loops of anything they wanted. This turned into what I like to call “YouTube on crack”. Internet personalities like King Bach (pictured right), Jerome Jarre, and Brittany Furlan figured out how to use Vine for entertainment and used those as extensions to their also popular YouTube channels. For me personally, Vine was a lot of fun but I didn’t get on it until years after it was popular. However, 2016 claimed the six-second social media innovation for its own. With a lack of staying current, the development of Snapchat, and the success of Instagram, there was simply no room for Vine. This is the first time that I was there for the development of a social media platform as well as its end, so for me it came down to one thing: Vine’s lack of progress in recent years goes to show that staying competitive in any sphere of advertising and marketing is a key for success.

 

The Meme Takeover

D: Every year we have our fair share of memes and viral hits, but for 2016 there were two that stood out. Although completely separate on the surface, The Mannequin Challenge and Harambe had similarities. For starters, they were “brand-proof”. Unlike, the “Damn Daniel” meme that was easily attached to Vans shoes, The Mannequin Challenge and Harambe were both created organically and didn’t carry a brand attachment.

The Mannequin Challenge started in November in a High School classroom, and quickly turned into a video fad where groups of people would pose in a typically funny way as if they were mannequins. Simple, funny, and cooperative were the driving factors for this meme’s success.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! #mannequinchallenge #GiantsPride

A post shared by New York Giants (@nygiants) on

 

The Harambe meme was one of those things that came as a surprise to everyone. Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla that was shot and killed after a child fell in its enclosure became idolized in 2016. All sorts of merchandise, songs, videos, and candlelight vigils were done in the honour of this Gorilla.

What’s important for brand’s to realize is that they don’t have to be involved in every single thing that happens in 2016. If you have nothing innovative or relevant to contribute when the next big meme comes out, it’s best to just not participate. Leave it for the people to enjoy!

The MAD Mix Won Big!

D: As many of you may know, we took home the “Student Marketer of the Year” award at the CAMP Marketing Awards in November. This was a tremendous accomplishment for us as we’ve done our best to grow The MAD Mix to new heights this past year. What started as a blog that Malick and myself wrote for, quickly extended to a platform that has welcomed over 30 different guest writers across North America. In 2017, we hope to continue to explore new opportunities with The MAD Mix through the addition of new features, team members, and hopefully another shiny award. Check out some of our photos of the event below!

 

That’s our recap of 2016’s best. You can check out all of our previous weekly recap’s here. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy New Year!

Dakarai Turner

Behind the Meme: The Mannequin Challenge

November 15, 2016

The month of November kicked off in a interesting way to say the least, with the creation and explosion of the Mannequin Challenge. What started as a Twitter video recorded in a Colony High School classroom, later became used at concerts, in NFL locker rooms, talk shows, and even the White House. For those of you that haven’t seen the video that started it all, check it out below.

To give you an idea of just how big the challenge has been so far, it’s reached over 4 million mentions on Twitter since November 1st, and reached over 16 million mentions on Instagram. Now with almost every meme, there is usually someone that benefits from it the most. In this case it’s the rap duo by the name of ‘Rae Sremmurd‘. The rappers have managed to attach their hit song “Black Beatles” to the viral trend, by doing the challenge with their fans on stage to the song. This basically sparked a boatload of challenges that came afterwards. Although the first video didn’t even include any sound, the duo hopped on the trend quick enough to tie their song with the challenge.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! #mannequinchallenge #GiantsPride

A post shared by New York Giants (@nygiants) on

So what has made the Mannequin Challenge resonate so well with just about everyone? Here are 3 reasons: It’s easy, it’s a group activity, and everyone’s favourite part..it’s brandless.

Easy

After participating in two separate Mannequin Challenges myself, it’s not as easy as it looks to stand still for so long. However, the last thing I would say is that this challenge is difficult. All you need to do is strike a pose with your friends while someone records it, and boom! You’ve joined the trend.

 

Group Activity

Everything is funner when you’re doing it with your friends. The larger the group, the better the video. This trend started with a classroom, and now has sports teams, restaurants, and even regular work offices jumping in to give it a shot. When you can do things as a team it makes it that much more enjoyable and also shareable. Just think about if the original person had one person standing still. Would it have caught any steam? Check out my work office doing the challenge below.

Brandless

As I mentioned in my article about the Harambe meme, there is something special about a meme in which you can’t easily trace the origin. A lot of people don’t really know why this challenge started or even why Rae Sremmurd’s song is playing in the background. But one thing I could say is that if it was the #PepsiMannequinChallenge, it wouldn’t be what it is today. Maybe I’m wrong with that thought, but I truly believe that the authentic and simple nature of the Mannequin Challenge is the reason why it’s taken over the internet.

What do you think of this final thought. If a brand had started and was heavily associated with the Mannequin Challenge, would the appeal to be a part of it still be there?

 

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 TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (October 14 – October 21)

October 21, 2016

The world of advertising & marketing changes on the daily so it can be hard to keep up with all of the biggest trends and innovations. Not to worry, we got you covered if you missed anything. Check out our weekly recap below.

 

SickKids Shows What it Means to Fight in New Campaign

D: For me, the new “SickKids vs. Undeniable” campaign truly hit home. I’ve been in the position of some of these children essentially fighting for their life, and this is the picture that the Toronto hospital has painted in their new ad. The two minute long video is an action packed and thrilling experience illustrating doctors and patients getting “ready for battle”. Now, you may be wondering why a hospital needs to advertise, which really isn’t a stupid question. Sick Kids is aiming this toward potential donors. This is for the people that may have been on the fence about donating money to a hospital before and aren’t sure how to proceed. The intent is to provide that shock factor and spark the conversation surrounding donating. The call to action at the end of the video is to visit FundTheFight.ca, which is a webpage dedicated to providing information about the Sick Kids Foundation. This may just end up as one of my favorite ads of the year, so you definitely have to check it out below!

Jeep “Free to Be”

D: Just in time for Wednesday’s presidential debate, Jeep has found a way to honor both sides while brilliantly showing off the features of their vehicles. These short ads uploaded to their YouTube account, and also aired during the debate. They feature a split-screen of two Jeep’s positioned together to look like the same vehicle in two different situations. These videos highlight the duality of the Jeep in a fun and creative way, while riding on the tails of the presidential debates. Check out a couple of the ads below!

Izod and Ken Bone Want to Make Sure that you Vote

D: Ken Bone has got to be the most self aware person to become a meme in 2016, and as usual it happened in such a ridiculous and unpredictable way. If you haven’t already heard, Ken Bone is a man that simply asked a question to the presidential candidates during the 2nd debate, and the internet decided he was funny enough to turn into a meme. Izod the clothing brand has Ken to thank because of the fact he was sporting one of their red sweaters during his shining moment.

In this new 2 minute ad “The 15th Minute”, Ken understands that his fame will fizzle out any minute, and before it does he wants to urge everyone to make sure their vote in the election. Now if you’re wondering where Izod comes in to play, they’ve latched on to Ken Bone and have made sure everyone knows where he got the big red sweater. Check out the video below.

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads that we could find over the week. You can check out last week’s recap here. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy Friday!

Dakarai Turner

Blogs Out for Harambe: Why the Meme Can’t be Stopped

September 20, 2016

I think it’s gotten to that point where I have to talk about this. Harambe, yes the Gorilla that was shot and killed in the Cincinnati Zoo after a 3-year old fell in his enclosure has been all over the internet for months, if you haven’t already noticed. The question is…why? Well, there really is no logical way to explain it. Right after this situation happened in May, people were genuinely outraged at the fact that an animal had to be killed in the process. The story went on for a short amount of time and then ultimately faded away. But thanks to the wonderful people on Instagram and Twitter, the memes Harambebegan rolling through and they haven’t showed signs of stopping ever since. There have been songs made, merchandise sold, and even candlelight vigils held in cities around the world…for a Gorilla.

Trolls on the internet started the meme “Dicks out for Harambe” and it’s basically being said by just about every person under 25, which makes you wonder what it’s like to be a highschool teacher right about now. There are petitions to change the name of the Cincinati Zoo to the Harambe Zoo, and to change the name of the Cincinatti Bengals to “Harambes”. And to top it all off, in a recent poll, it was revealed that 5% of voters would vote for Harambe in this years election. Every day it seems as though there’s something even more extravagant with this Gorilla’s name attached, and it begs the question…when will it end? Like all good memes, they eventually die. However, it’s simply one of those situations that you cannot possibly predict, as to when. Who would have ever thought that this would gain the attention that it did, and that it would last this long in the first place?

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

 

So what makes this meme so special?

It started as a movement fighting for the justice of a mistreated animal

When you read that it really doesn’t sound bad at all. People felt as though there were other ways to neutralize the Gorilla and child hostage situation, than to kill, and they expressed their passion and outrage online. There was even a petition with over 500k signatures to have the parents of the boy charged for their negligence. As usual, the internet brings out undercover experts in everything and anything.

It’s Brand-Proof

Quite often when “random” memes such as this one happens, there is usually a brand involved in some way that makes you wonder if it was all planned in the first place. An example being the “Damn Daniel” meme that was associated with Vans sneakers, or even the “Alex from Target” that was evidently associated with the large retailer. “Dicks out for Harambe” is a thing of its own that no brand would dare to touch. You find that as soon as brands get a hold of a meme they tend to die out. It’s kind of like when your mom first got Facebook and it drove you to spend more time on Snapchat or Instagram. The reason this meme has lasted so long in my opinion is because there isn’t a brand that can grab a hold of it. I mean, the Cincinnati Zoo could try and create Harambe inspired events/merchandise, but that would just come off as disingenuous since they were in fact the ones that ended his life in the first place, and have already expressed their discomfort of the memes

There’s no one behind itHarambe

Similar to my last point, this meme belongs 100% to the people. For example, “Damn Daniel” ends because Daniel’s friend, the one the meme belonged to stopped recording the funny videos. It reached it’s peak, and couldn’t be taken any further. You could try and carry it on all you want with your friend that’s also named Daniel, but it’s simply not going to be as funny and will probably come off as a little pathetic. Harambe was in the hands of the people from the start and will end whenever they get bored of it.

Personally I don’t find the memes to be all that funny anymore, but hey people still seem to be enjoying them, and they aren’t really doing any harm, so play on. What do you guys think of the viral success behind Harambe? Drop a comment, I’d love to know!

 

 

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 TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (August 13 – August 19)

August 19, 2016

With how fast the marketing & advertising world operates, its always good to keep up with the latest trends, ads, and innovations-which is what we’re here to do. Check out our weekly recap below.

Written by Malick and Dakarai

 

McDonald’s Promotes “Step-It Toys”

D: Through a series of online videos and a TV spot, McDonald’s is promoting their latest Happy Meal toy that is a step counter for kids. For some, perhaps on the older side you’ll be wondering since when McDonald’s has been promoting a healthy lifestyle. The answer to that is for quite some time. McDonald’s has been working endlessly to shed away this image that eating their food will automatically turn you fat. What I see here is a strong play at a younger audience, as well as the parents to reposition McDonald’s in peoples minds. For people such as myself, McDonald’s will always carry that “Supersize Me” stigma. However, for a younger audience, that film doesn’t even exist in their minds. Although as of today, the toys are being pulled for allegedly causing skin rashes, it was a good idea while it lasted.

McDonald's step-it toy

 

SiriusXM-Dick’s Pizza

M: Well known ad agency Taxi (Toronto) really did it with this one. They created an advertisement for SiriusXM about a fake pizza place titled “Dick’s Pizza”. The purpose however was not to promote pizza, but rather to promote a comedy festival. Which seems appropriate as the word “dick” is mentioned about a million times. I get if you aren’t into this kind of humour, but I think the innuendos are perfect for this type of audience. The video below highlights everything hilarious about the concept. Am I immature for laughing at this? Don’t answer that.

 
Usain Bolt Becomes a Meme

D: If you have been following the Olympic Games even slightly, you know how special it was watching Usain Bolt compete in the 100m dash once again. As predicted, he came first. What truly made this special was the photo of Usain Bolt creating distance between his competitors and looking back with a grin. The memes began instantly! Check out a few of my favourites below.

 
Kanye West Pop-Up Shop

M: When I got into work this morning about 3 or 4 people starting asking me about the Kanye West pop up shops downtown. Obviously being a huge Kanye fan I was intrigued. Hundreds of people have lined up along Ossington from Queen St W all the way to Argyle St this morning to check out a pop up shop by none other than Yeezus himself. The pop up shops contained merchandise that any die hard Kanye fan would love.20160819-pablostorepopup590-16

With his concert just a few weeks away, I think this is a great way to not only promote yourself, but get people in #TeamYeezy gear before the big show. Something tells me that the price tag wouldn’t be nice on the wallet though. Check out this cool exclusive Toronto Kanye gear below:

20160819-pablostorepopup590-09

Aldo Launches a Digital Concept Store

D: The Canadian shoe and accessory retailer has launched a digital concept store in New York City that aims to improve customer experience. Upon entering the store, visitors will receive notifications to download the Aldo app. This is where they can look up product availability by store, create a wishlist, and look up other information about the product. Looking for a sales rep is so 2015, right? it will be cool to see how this is developed when brought to their other stores across North America.

Aldo digital store

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads that we could find over the week. Think we missed one? Let us know! Be sure to follow us on Facebook here

Malick Ba

The Secret To Going Viral

June 7, 2016

I’ve decided to finally tackle what seems to be the life long question in the advertising and marketing world: how do you get your product/campaign/content to go viral? As someone whose grown up with the internet, there is one simple answer for this: you can’t. Marketers invest so much money and time into trying to make their campaigns be the next ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but at the end of the day, there is no formula for it. There’s a certain quality about viral campaigns, videos, or memes that simply just catch on because they do. Ultimately I think that the things that make content viral is a combination of either effectiveness, call to action, or humour, or all of the above.

I’m on Instagram a lot, and that place is basically a hub for viral content-mostly giphy (4)memes. Its interesting to see the types of things that go viral even if they aren’t promoted by a huge brand. At the top of my head, some of the biggest viral content on Instagram has been completely random. Think about it: Damn Daniel, the crying Jordan meme, and especially the sponge-gar meme that’s blown up as of late.This isn’t content that’s created with any intention of becoming something bigger than a joke, but that’s what makes it so interesting. Marketers focus on formulas, data, and algorithms when attempting to create campaigns that will be the next big thing, but really there is no way to effectively quantify why “Damn Daniel” was even a thing. If anything, it’s the outcomes that are the most important. The kids behind that entire joke got a life time supply of Vans for basically accidently promoting their product all over the internet.

To give a personal example, I was watching a hockey game at some point last year and had made a tweet about one of the players. About 10 minutes later I had gotten a notification on my phone that I had it had been retweeted a couple of times. I didn’t think anything of it. About an hour later, my phone would not stop buzzing. To my surprise, my harmless tweet had over 50 retweets and about 100 favourites (or “likes” now). Apparently a fan account of the player I commented on had retweeted me onto their network so all of their followers had seen it and then done the same. I was astonished, and actually kind of excited that something I said actually kind of had some substance to it (it really didn’t).

Thumbs-up-computer-kid-gif_348542

So really, there is no way to make your content, campaigns, or products go viral on purpose. Let’s be honest, if it were that easy to achieve, then everyone would do it. It takes a certain element, a certain quality to content that has to do with a combination of good timing, appropriation to specific context, and the effectiveness of whatever it is one is trying to promote. That being said, if you see The MAD Mix go viral, it wasn’t by accident-its simply because Dak and I have obviously mastered how its done. At least that’s what we want you to think…

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Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.