Meme marketing has emerged as a leading strategy in digital advertising, particularly in India. Recognizing the online language of “Netizens”, businesses are allocating larger budgets to capitalize on the meme culture.

Disney+, for instance, leveraged a line from their movie trailer “Brahmastra” that transformed into a viral meme, with brands like Tinder, Dunzo, and others hopping onto the trend.

Meme marketing agency, Youngun, founded in 2019, represents giants like Netflix, PepsiCo, and Cred, emphasizing how brands strive to join internet dialogues. The trend, kickstarted by brands like Zomato in 2018, offers an affordable advertising medium for startups, bypassing the high costs of traditional campaigns. Google Trends suggests that the meme search term has surged in India, especially during the 2020 lockdown.

Firms like Meme Chat have capitalized on this, creating user-generated meme platforms, with potential earnings for users. Meme Chat alone boasts a 600mn collective following.

Monetization varies, with meme marketing prices ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 crore. TrulyMadly, an Indian dating app, dedicates 30%-40% of its marketing budget to meme content, observing greater engagement.

Virality remains subjective, but reach and media coverage, such as news outlets picking up meme stories, are key indicators. The line between organic memes and brand-led content is blurring, with brands making deliberate efforts to make campaigns appear spontaneous.

Key Facts & Figures:

Meme Growth: The term ‘meme’ saw a significant surge in India during the 2020 lockdowns.

Budget Allocation: Snehil Khanor of TrulyMadly now allocates 30%-40% of his content marketing budget to memes, a rise from 7%-10% in around two and a half years.

Meme Pricing: Meme marketing costs can range between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 crore.

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