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Over the last several years, the Internet “meme,” has, to employ a meme, become a thing. The Oxford dictionary defines memes as being “a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.” For example, the uncoordinated shark dancer who was featured in Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show became a meme himself, with thousands of photos and humorous interpretations shared on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
The trend has given rise to sites like Buzzfeed, which generate content around memes. Popular and highly clickable, memes encapsulate the zeitgeist of a particular moment or event, and develop lives of their own as they spread across the Internet. Sometimes, memes contain copyrighted material, but other times, the premise of a meme can be fair use for brands and other entities to use for their own materials.
In custom label printing, one savvy way to capture that trend is to display memes on containers. For most Internet users who are accustomed to seeing the standard words-with-text format on computer and mobile screens, encountering a silly cat or some other item of Internet curiosity on a label could be striking and memorable. On one hand, it shows that a brand is up on the latest cultural fascination or Internet trend, and on the other, it lends humor and interest to boring labels.
In the future, you might discover that an Internet meme is appropriate for your brand. Before incorporating some element of it into label strategy, determine that it’s not copyrighted, and use discretion to decide whether continuation of a meme is appropriate for your target audience.