the aftermath of the memes

If you don’t follow internet culture, you might have missed the infamous Flex Tape commercial. Made from the company Flex Seal, a new type of super extreme duct-tape was developed and promoted with the name “Flex Tape”. Along with the product release, a lot of memes started popping up. How did this affect the marketing of Flex Tape? Let’s picture a timeline together and see where the growth started.  

The start of the Flex Tape Commercial

In January, Flex Seal released the commercial that started it all. The Flex Tape commercial has besides the infomercial style of promo, a very extreme testimonial to show the strength of the product. If you’ve never seen it, you should watch the Flex Tape Commercial below.


You can see the extremeness probably back in the commercial, sawing a literal boat in half and fixing it with the product shows and extreme case of the product’s capabilities. This commercial spiked an interest on google around the time the commercial launched – as seen in the Google Trends data of Google search data.

 

Prosumer Content

On September 30th 2017, YouTuber JonTron made a non-sponsored video about the commercial, reviewing the product and reacting to the commercial. After which the memes began of the flextape. But the search spike really upped when YouTuber Pewdiepie made a video on it on June 12th 2018. You can see the spike in YouTube search data from Google Trends data.


The Memes – Prosuming or mockery?


Quotes from this Flextape commercial and other products from Flex Seal have been turned into memes and spread over the internet. Even as far as Flex Seal getting people to tweet famous quotes from the commercials to them.

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Memes is another form of prosuming of course, people produce content about a brand from their own perspective. And sharing memes is also part of E-WOM (Electronic Word of Mouth), sharing the message of the brand / awareness of the brand and becoming viral. However the question we want to discuss with you is if memes should be seriously valued as part of online marketing with prosumers – or should it be seen as mockery and be dismissed? Leave a comment down below to let us know what you think.

 

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Interested in the product advertisement of Apple, and when people started to talk about the brand? Go visit Commercial Weekly and one of read their newest blogs about The Influence of Apple Commercials on Buying Behaviour.

 

Sources:

https://twitter.com/getflexseal

https://twitter.com/philswiftontv

– http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/plablog/2016/04/18/electronic-word-of-mouth-ewom-marketing/ 

– https://trends.google.nl/trends/?geo=NL 


3 Comments

Mathijs · 2 October 2018 at 09:08

I think memes are already part of (some) marketing campaigns. In pure marketing terms, jumping in on trends is a great way to connect with a particular target audience, and several companies are using memes in order to connect and engage with the ‘internet culture audience’ – especially on Social Media.

Mockery and be dismissed…hard to say. Really depends on the meme itself, the context and the way how it is used. What do you guys think?

    Manouk van Vugt · 2 October 2018 at 10:37

    Hi Mathijs,
    Memes being part of marketing campaigns is already demonstrated on several brands yes. Bol.com is a good example in my opinion where you can see memes being implemented in the marketing strategy. Here is one of their latest posts as an example.

    However, if you make content (like the Flex Tape TV-commercial) as a company or brand and memes sprout from said content, you can have range of possibilities on how to respond on that. Would you embrace the memes, participate along with them? Or are you going to promote against them? Context would be a big part of that yes, Tide for instance made PSA’s during the Tide Pod Challenge to NOT eat the Tide Pods, because that is of course dangerous. But if the meme’s are not dangerous, should a brand reciprocate, retalliate and take control, or let it roll and see it as free earned media. Flex tape let the memes roll, since the memes were harmless (quoting the infomercial). However, there have been cases where the memes had a bad context.

    Pepsi for example released an ad with Kendall Jenner last year. However, the internet was generally not happy about this ad, especially concerning the Black Lives Matter movement, leaving Kendall Jenner to apologize for the ad. In this case the context of the memes were bad, when you make a google image search for “pepsi meme” you will probably see why, but I think the number of memes is also important in this case. If only a few noted the controversy, would it have spread as big as it did now.

    Pepsi Kendall Jenner

The Influence of Apple Commercials on Buying Behaviour. – Commercial Weekly · 2 October 2018 at 08:34

[…] to see how Internet Culture influences online marketing? Check out Your Viral Culture for a blog post about the infamous Flex Tape commercial and how it picked up […]

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