Can a brand make its meme viral? Here’s what Meme Chat’s Founder has to say
Memer is becoming a serious and more recognised job role in IndiaBI India
Understanding the art of meme-making

Can a brand make its meme viral? Here’s what Meme Chat’s Founder has to say

Understanding the art of meme-making
  • In recent times, many brands have started recognising how humour sells and joining the bandwagon of meme marketing to reach out to Millennials and Gen Z.
  • We reached out to Kyle Fernandes CEO & Co- Founder, Meme Chat, a platform that owns 250 meme pages and has the potential to make a meme go viral.
  • Fernandes told us about the platform's plan to target Boomers, what sells in the meme market and how meme marketing benefits your brand.
The pandemic this year has made consumers frugal and anxious. Many of them continue to work from home and battle with the anxiety of living in uncertain times. Mounting uncertainty, unending work pressure and the physical stress of sitting in one position for hours, have led to changes in our lifestyle and sleep patterns, which has added to the stress. As a result, consumers have started watching more sit-coms and spending more time with their families to keep them distracted from gloomy reality. They are also looking for comic relief on social media. In August, Yashraj Mukhate’s Rasoda rap had taken the internet by storm and instantly resulted into a meme fest. Many brands have started recognising how humour sells and are joining the bandwagon of meme marketing to reach out to Millennials and Gen Z.

Meme Chat, an User Generated Content and networking app, has also seen its sales increase after COVID. Founded in 2019, the app currently has a user base of 700K+ with a monthly active user base of 130K+ and is aiming to hit million users in the coming time.

Some recent and popular viral meme trends like Biggini Shoot, Rasode mein kaun tha, Kamlesh, Deepak Kalal, JCB and Mature Guy, and the Lagan Pal (Paragliding Guy) trends were started by Meme Chat. Recently, it also partnered with OTT platforms like Hotstar, ALT Balaji, MX Player, Zee5, Amazon Prime, OnePlus, GetMega, Dream11, among others.

One of the brains behind this app, Kyle Fernandes, started his entrepreneurial journey when he was only 15-year-old and got suspended from his school one day. He started a meme page called ‘Sh*t Indians Say’(SIS) with Taaran Chanana, which was later renamed and expanded into the social media platform we know today as Meme Chat. The founders, both 22, started growing their network by launching more meme pages such as Baba Chu, Terribly Dank Tales, Sarcasm hub. Today, they own 250 meme pages and if all added together, provide a reach of 300 million.

“After our distribution channel became very strong and we had enough users who loved creating memes, we realised that brands are interested in paying for that content. Not that much, but they were paying. That’s when we realised that there’s a gap in the market for this kind of app. And that’s how Meme Chat came into being, where we value content creators by incentivizing them with monetary benefits and they make memes for brands. So it is actually a user recommendation,” shares Fernandes.

“Almost every meme you see on the internet”, said Fernandes, is amplified through us. If you can think of a meme trend, it is probably because we have made it.”

On International Men’s Day, 700,000 people posted memes on Twitter, indicating how demand for memes is growing in our country.

Understanding the art of meme making

Everyday, a team of 15 content moderators on Meme Chat goes through 30,000 memes and only around 4,000 of them make it to the main category.

Memer is also becoming a serious and more recognised job role. Last year, Instagram had posted a job position for a memer. Instagram's Head of News and Publishing Partnerships, Lila King, said any contender for the job will have to be ‘a unicorn’ who is ‘equally fluent in the language of memes and the business of digital publishing.’

So, while hiring a memer, what should a brand look for? Fernandes answers, “If they can take your brand and really resonate with the millennial generation, that would be a perfect fit. For a millennial to share their content piece, they should be able to resonate themselves with the product offering. They should be in-sync with the trends that develop. You need to have that kind of spunk and absurdity.”

Meme Chat is also trying to figure out how to cater to Boomers, who have a higher spending capacity than Millennials and WhatsApp forwards are their favourites.

Elaborating on this challenging task Meme Chat has taken upon, Fernandes said, “Educating them about meme trends is a big task at hand. We have to do it in a way that is so well segregated because the current Gen Z and Millennial audience is going to leave if it is not. So, for this, we have to go into the normie direction. Basically, they watch news and read the news regularly. We have to give them content based on what they know and what they talk about.”

Can you make a meme go viral?

Many marketers have come to Meme Chat with one demand, “ Kuch viral bana do” and Fernandes has happily agreed to deliver on this abrupt brief.

Explaining the modus operandi behind it, he said, “Memes make things super viral and can take things way out of proportion. If a user goes through his/her social media feed, they see a weird trend someone has posted that they have no knowledge of. They choose to ignore it the first time, they scroll and see a few more people have shared it. You have the user hooked here, they are inquisitive to understand what is happening. What any Gen Z or Millennial will do next is share it even though they have no idea what it is about because they want to look ‘cool.’ That’s the thing -- people wanna look cool on social media! Nobody really knows the reason why it is trending, they just wanna jump on the bandwagon. The reason we are able to do this is because we control major meme pages in our country.”

However, he does have one complaint about marketer who comes with an abrupt brief. “You should just leave us with our own devices -- you should not put too many restrictions over us if you want to make a piece of content go viral because we know what works. They think it is wacky so it won’t work but we have been in this entire ecosystem for a while now, so we know it will work. Brands have too many guidelines right now. Users are going to be brutally honest about their brand while making a meme, putting their heart into it -- expressing how they feel. That’s something a marketer should realise,” said Fernandes.

Vision for the app

After a recent successful fundraising round, Meme Chat is aiming to explore newer target groups, polish its video meme content quality and make its app more accessible for creators.

“We are adding a lot more tools like AI and Machine Learning to make the process of making a meme easier. It should be with a click of a few buttons that memes get created, that is what we are aiming for. To empower a creator and get more creators to join your platform, you have to make the creating process very easy -- that’s what TikTok has done very well.

To know how can meme marketing benefit your brand and if marketers consider it as a serious monetisation avenue, watch the video below: