5 Brands Who Built Commercial Campaigns Around Meme Influencers
Today’s social media landscape has produced subgenres of influencers to serve different purposes. Two breeds currently represent the majority of influencer marketing: the lifestyle influencer and the meme influencer. Lifestyle influencers fluctuate freely in or outside the lines of the aesthetic they want us to see: who they spend time with, what they’re wearing, where they’re traveling, they sell an experience.
Meme influencers favor virality instead of variety. Their success depends on how repeatable and remixable they are. The meme influencer finds a template, a shtick, a persona that resonates. However gimmicky or real, they slightly alter scenarios to sell the same punchline.
Given the viral nature of short-form video, it’s no surprise that TikTok has nurtured the next generation of meme influencers. Their roster of viral personas has been hunting ground for commercial endorsements as brands look for the perfect foothold in oversaturated newsfeeds amongst an audience with shorter attention spans.
These 5 brand/meme influencer collabs demonstrate how brands reach bigger audiences when they center viral personas in commercial advertising.
- Gucci and Francis Bourgeois
Francis Bourgeois is a 21-year-old TikToker who first went viral in October 2021 for his trainspotting videos. Bourgeois was one of the models featured in Gucci and The North Face’s native partnership with streetwear blog Highsnobiety. This was a big jump for the locomotive lover who said he used to hide his passion for trains in fear of being judged. User reactions to seeing Bourgeois in the recent campaign have been overall positive with several major media outlets picking up the story.
2. Ocean Spray and Doggface208
Doggface208 is the handle of Nathan Apodaca, a TikToker who went viral in September 2020 after posting a video of himself skateboarding while drinking from an Ocean Spray cranberry juice carton to the song “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. Ocean Spray built their 2021 Super Bowl campaign around Apodaca and named it #DoggfaceDanceVibes. The promotions featured Apodaca encouraging viewers to try his own choreographed dance, which incorporated the catch of an Ocean Spray bottle. Ocean Spray’s TikTok compilation of Doggface-inspired video remixes is one of their top four most viewed videos on the platform.
3. Gillette and The McFarlands
The McFarlands are a family of three brothers plus married couple Dan and Kathy McFarland. The McFarlands first earned virality notoriety on TikTok in 2019 for silly home videos that reiterated certain family dynamics between their dad and the three boys. After a handful of videos did well that showed the guys shaving/grooming, Gillette selected the family for their 2021 Father’s Day campaign themed around “the dad stache.” The McFarlands also partnered with Gillette for last year’s Super Bowl, and their sponsored video is one of Gillette’s most viewed videos on the platform.
4. GT’s Living Foods and Brittany Tomlinson
Brittany Tomlinson’s self-recorded video about trying kombucha for the first time was one of TikTok’s 10 most viral videos of 2019. Less than three months after her video was shared, GT’s Living Foods created a YouTube ad of Brittany taste-testing a variety of their Synergy kombuchas. To date, that ad is one of GT’s top four most viewed videos on YouTube.
Meme influencers offer a strategic point of entry that checks a lot of boxes for your 2022 media spend: omnipresence across platforms, Gen-Z audience access and a fluid way to join viral discussions before the moment is over. All you need is a streamlined way to find this year’s up-and-coming meme influencers.
Know Your Meme Insights is a team of dedicated experts backed by the world’s largest internet culture database dedicated to researching and documenting online history and viral phenomena. Our influencer reports fuse current trends and historical data with actionable insights with curation where you need it: audience makeup, brand safety and more.
We deliver qualitative and quantitative information to guide your business through the chaos of social media that you can’t find anywhere else.
Sign up for our new weekly newsletter here!