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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2

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Dieting is a mainstream phenomenon right now throughout the world. People are trying to cut down on food consumption to attain a certain type of body structure. However, it is important to gain perspective of the millions of people throughout the world and who struggle with malnutrition- from the lack of food and supplies.

In an effort to show a glimpse of the current world's situation with famine the meme was created to generate awareness amongst people with the concerns to their body shape and structures. The meme underlines the current situation in some parts of the world where people have come to a point of eating “Dirt” to substitute for real food. Given the current situation, where a lot of food is wasted globally, it can be quite hard to fathom the situation of these people who can't even afford a loaf of bread or few grams of rice.

Over the last decade ‘Oxfam' has contributed to multiple of famine relief ventures globally with the help of online social awareness and generous donations from philanthropists. In line with some of the ventures and ongoing activities, I have planned to introduce this meme to increase Oxfam's footprint in media.

In light of the current global crisis of extreme scarcity of food and water in some parts of the world this meme presents, a more satirical view for people to understand and help eliminate this problem. The meme is designed to achieve virality due to its approach of such a controversial issue; additionally, due to some additional feature embedded it is likely going to generate customer engagement.

The Meme:

With the rise in social networking sites and applications, there is a clear rise in ‘memes' which is a staple content seen on these platforms for most of the users and even for marketers. “A meme is a part of a social context that uses social culture as the center of discussion” (Nissenbaum and Shifman, 2015). My meme is part of a digitally shared internet meme, which seems to have grown in popularity in the recent decade. “Digital memes are online content that shares mutual or similar context and are imitated throughout multiple social and public platforms” (Nissenbaum and Shifman, 2015).

The cultural impact of digitally shared memes is so fast that it can be seen by the rise of its popularity in Google searches. According to Google trends, memes have overtaken popularity over Jesus, ice-cream and even charity over the last 5 years. These results show how memes have impacted and to some degree shaped our culture currently.

link:https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205y&q=memes,jesus,ice%20cream,charity

Memes have been used and seen in news reports, school halls, billboards and even used to represent serious political and social movements throughout the world. Memes which were once thought of just mere jokes and random junk, are now part of important marketing and social strategies adopted by large brands like Gucci, Ben and Jerry's, Samsung and many more.

In an attempt to follow the current trend and gain social attention for our charity- Oxfam. The meme I have created here shows how many of us disregard our privilege to the access of proper food and water, whereas almost 13% of the world still suffer from the lack of access to these essentials. Presently, in Haiti some of its citizens are now eating mere ‘dirt' due to extreme poverty, which also consists health risks.

Due to our ignorance and self-absorption, we often turn a blind eye to real-world problems worrying about small things like cutting down on body mass to look a certain type. Since here I am targeting a controversial, yet concerned topic, I therefore genuinely believe that this meme will catch attention in social media. As a result, our organization may receive an influx of prospective donors who may want to know more about the problem and further down the line may convert to active donors or contributors to our organization.

link: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/01/080130-AP-haiti-eatin_2.html

The potential distribution strategy in regard to my meme will be through our social media pages, our website and even some paid media such as newspaper, magazines, and even billboards. The idea is to gain more attention within the community where access to food and water is not as highly regarded it should be. As a part of our distribution strategy, we plan to first advertise this meme to major cities throughout the world for example- Los Angeles and Dubai.

I personally used the Gucci meme, which was shared in social media, to benchmark mine, so that I incorporate features such as the Gucci meme to make a successful meme for our organization to achieve similar results.

links to source image: http://digital.gucci.com/tfwgucci/p/1

Theoretical Explanation:

Recently we all have come across the surge of branded memes, which is believed to be a vehicle used by brands to generate greater consumer engagement. Additionally, consumer engagement is conducted by these brands through repeated interactions with consumers via different channel to communicate to reinforce and sustain emotional and psychological or physical ties (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2012). With the meme that I have created, I believe that this will not only resonate with new donors but also help retain our existing donors. Since, in this meme I have incorporated emotions in a form of relatable social stigma along with an interactive function for further engagement. I have added a QR code on the bottom left which, will redirect customers to our official page to locate all the ventures active within Oxfam so that new and existing donors find a program they want to associate.

    Apart from that as a part of ‘social change memes,' it helps to carry a sense of engagement and activism amongst people and even our brand since we do not have much control over the media landscape (Nooney and Stacer, 2014). Part of the strategy for customer engagement, in this case, will be following up with the people who will be using the QR code and using netnography as a tool to follow on what people have to say about the brand in the different social media platforms. With this information collected we plan to send monthly newsletters and even discount coupons and offer details for shopping at our stores. According to the benefits discussed by Gummerus, this strategy will help generate economic benefits for both the customers and the foundations. The meme is designed to also provide additional entertainment and social benefits with the interactive option attached to the meme, which provides potential and existing donors to choose between alternative ventures (Gummerus et al., 2012).

    As a part of relationship management approach, we plan to use the data collected from customers who donated or showed interest in our ventures, by sending them tailored information based on their preference. This information will be regarding the venture selected and its progress reports to ensure continuous interaction with the foundation.

With the help of the meme we plan to influence some eWOM (electronic word of mouth) (Chu and Kim, 2011) since there is a degree of controversy involved, which is intentionally created. Due to the topic used in the formation of the meme it is likely going to cause a viral effect amongst people who may relate to the theme yet share different perspectives on the matter. However, the key motive involved in the creation of the meme is to generate higher traffic in our website and to receive more attention of general viewers in the social media platforms from the potential number of shares and mention for our meme.

Though memes, may have gained huge popularity, it is also important to note that it is also scrutinized by many. This viral spread may result in more negative impression arising regarding the organisation. Apart from that though using a meme to generate awareness in regard to a charitable foundation may seem promising, it may fail because of the nature and preconceived notion of memes being just for entertainment rather than highlighting a serious issue. Therefore, using a meme for generating engagement for such a cause and the foundation may seem to be a marketing stunt to some of the viewers and for existing partners and donors of the foundation. Nonetheless, it can be said that a meme may also be considered to be a vehicle of presenting such serious conditions in a more humorous manner, which may seem to be unconventional for not only a charitable foundation such as Oxfam but even larger brands and businesses.

The Conclusion:

    From the information presented it can be concluded that memes are now more prominent in today's culture than ever before. The use of memes have extended beyond just the purpose of entertainment and humor. The meme that I have developed for Oxfam can provide the foundation with more attention from viewers in any media platform since it is using a controversial topic, along with further engagement possibilities through the QR code provided. Though it is highly depended on the perspective of the viewers this meme is likely going to generate a great number of traffic regardless, since people may share it for the right or wrong reasons causing a viral effect. Apart from that with a set of complex coding and specialised software tools we can identify a viewer of our website to offer tailored data and newsletter to stimulate further consumer engagement and interactions to ensure long-term relationship with the foundation and its customers. Additionally, as a part of our future plans, we plan to add more memes related to the series of new and existing ventures, however, it is contingent upon the performance of this meme (Google Analytics).

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