2017: The Year That’s Meme

For a while, the world of memes was its own subculture, down in the deepest parts of the Internet. But as marketers caught on to the power of memes, more and more brands attempted to use them in their marketing strategies. Some brands have done so successfully, many have not.

Gucci’s recent #TFWGucci meme campaign has left the Internet divided – half applauding Gucci’s brave Gen-X focused rebranding efforts, half cringing at their try-hard efforts. Either way, it got people talking.

It’s important to remember that just because memes are popular, doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily relevant for every brand. Memes speak their own language and people gravitate to ones that feel relatable and authentic, two things that in an era of perfectly curated media, audiences are craving.

Here are some of Klick’s favourite memes of 2017 (so far), where we explain their origins, who the subject is and give some examples of how the original meme evolved.

Salt Bae

Subject: A Turkish chef named Nusret Gökçe who owns Nusr-Et, a chain of Turkish Steak Houses.

Origin: An Instagram video in which Gökçe slices and salts a steak he just cooked.

Singing Meryl

Subject: Meryl Streep, who we hope needs no introduction.

Origin: The image comes from the 2015 SAG Awards when Streep cheered as Debbie Reynolds won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cash Me Ousside

Subject: 13 year-old-girl Danielle Bregoli was on a segment of Dr. Phil when the studio audience was laughing at her describe her unruly behaviour. Danielle addressed the them with this strange response that roughly translates to ‘meet me outside so we can talk/fight about it.’

Origin: Danielle and her mother appeared on the episode of Dr. Phil that was designed to help mothers and daughters work through their issues. No word on how that’s going.

Blinking Guy

Subject: Drew Scanlon, a San Francisco native who’s been working as a video editor for the website Giant Bomb for the past eight years.

Origin: The ‘guy blinking’ meme was born in 2013, when editor-in-chief Jeff Gerstmann was playing a game that required players to grow their own crops and he said “I’ve been doing some farming with my hoe.” It was Scanlon’s reaction to this statement that has become the viral meme.

Roll Safe

Subject: Comedian Kayode Ewumi has developed a strong following on social media following his YouTube mockumentary series #HoodDocumentary.

Origin: Ewumi created the character Reece Simpson, aka ‘Roll Safe’ for his Vine account in 2015, that also became the main character in #HoodDocumentary.

Evil Kermit

Subject: Kermit the Frog, one of the most recognisable puppets in the world, and his evil alter ego Constantine are the subject of this viral sensation.

Origin: This scene, in which Kermit and his arch nemesis/lookalike Constantine come face-to-face, is from the 2014 film Muppets Most Wanted. The meme is usually used to show a comparison between your good and your bad side.

Math Lady

Subject: Brazilian actress Renata Sorrah, playing her character Nazaré Tedesco in TV soap Senhora do Destino.

Origin: A scene where the actor wakes up in a jail and is unsure of how or why she is there.

Shooting Stars

Subject: The subject of this meme is actually a song. Written in 2008 by Australian band the Bag Raiders.

Origin: The song has gone back onto the dance charts with its meme success. This meme has now been replicated numerous times with different scenarios, but all with the same edit and song.