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, which is perceived of being slim. However, it is important to gain perspective of the millions of people throughout the world who struggle from malnutrition- from the lack of food and supplies. Therefore, it is important for people to realize how this fashionable trend of losing weight and cutting down on food consumption is a lifestyle not by choice to millions worldwide.
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 being 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.
In light of some of the current global crisis of extreme scarcity of food and water the meme presents a more satirical view for people to understand and help eliminate this problem. 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.
With the rise in social networking sites and applications we can also notice a clear rise in ‘memes' which is a staple content seen in these platforms for most of the users and even for marketers. “A meme is a part of a social context that use social culture as the center of discussion” (Nissenbaum nd Shifman, 2015). My meme which is part of 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. Besides, digital memes have gained a lot of attention in the recent years not only in social networks and the web but also in academics and in the businesses. (Nissenbaum nd Shifman, 2015). According to Google trends, memes have overtaken popularity over Jesus, ice-cream and even charity over the last 5 years. These stats indicate how memes are catching up to popular trends and how it has impacted the society and our lives.
Over the past years memes have been used and seen in news reports, school halls, billboards and even represent serious political and social movements throughout the world. Memes which were once thought of just mere jokes and random junk. However, they 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, I have developed this meme, which underlines a current social trend of dieting or restricting food consumption to relate to the global issue regarding hunger and famine. We at Oxfam are working in more than ninty countries to solve global emergencies and solve problems like famine, poverty and lack of education.
The meme I have created here shows how some of us disregard our privilege to the access of proper food and water, whereas almost 13% of the world still suffer from lack of access to good food and fresh water. In some areas such as Haiti people came down to eating mere dirt due to extreme poverty. 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. Therefore, I believe that this meme will catch attention from social media and as a result our organization may receive an influx of prospective donor who may want to know more about the problem and as a result may convert to an actual donor or contributor to our organization.
The idea of using a social trend and converge them to relate to the brand is followed up with the branded meme shared by Gucci over social media which recently got over a million views and thousands of shares. I personally used the Gucci meme to benchmark mine, so that I use the essential ingredients as seen in the Gucci meme to make a successful meme for our organization so that we may achieve similar results.
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. Consumer engagement is conducted by these brands through repeated interactions 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 a interactive function for further engagement. In the meme 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. With the launch of the website we plan to ask for email and follow up requests with the 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 also focuses the idea of providing potential and existing donors with a choice to choose between alternative ventures as they prefer. (Gummerus et al., 2012)
As a part of relation management approach we plan to use the data collected from the customers who donate or show interest in a venture by using their emails, if they provide to send tailored information. These informations and tailored content will be regarding the venture and the progress reports to ensure continuous interaction with the foundation and the cause they showed liked or showed interest. This will be possible through intricate coding encrypted in the QR provided. However, this is contingent amongst the maximum views and shares of the meme.
With the help of the meme we that it will generate some eWOM (electronic word of mouth) (Chu and Kim, 2011), since there is a degree of controversy involved in the meme, which is intentionally created. I believe due to the topic used in the formation of the meme it is likely cause a viral effect amongst people who may share different perspective to 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.
Though memes, may have gained huge popularity, it is also important to note that it is also scrutinised my many. Apart from that though using a meme to generate awareness in regards to a charitable foundation may seem promising, yet it can be assumed to fail because of the nature and preconceived notion of memes being just for entertainment rather highlighting a serious problem or 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 existing partners and donors of the foundation. Nonetheless it can be said that a meme may be also 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 as Oxfam but even larger brands and businesses.
From the information presented it can be concluded that memes are now more prominent in today's culture than ever before and the uses of it has 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 an aspect of further engagement through the QR code provided. Though it is highly depended on the perspective of the viewers this meme is likely going to generate a greater 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 ping recognition 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 within the foundation and the its customers. Additionally, we plan to add more memes related to the series of new and existing ventures, however, it is contingent upon the the performance of this meme.
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