Can Memes Destroy Brands? If yes, then How? – Let’s Find Out 

Updated on: Feb 2, 2023
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In this blog, we’ll go through how memes can destroy brands.

Memes have evolved into a daily dose of unapologetic comedy that provides us with some relief from the monotony of existence. They are the only ones we enjoy in between all of the things in life – preparing for and delivering examinations, finding a job, attending meetings and activities, and generally just…living life.

Memes have become an important element of everyone’s lives, including, believe it or not, businesses! 

Memes have been used by businesses to promote their products, raise awareness, connect with their audience, and increase engagement.

Overall a lot of benefits right? Well not exactly. Memes can not only be used to make people happy but can be used to hurt them too. 

Let’s take a look at what meme marketing is so we can get a better understanding.

What Are Memes And What Is Meme Marketing?

A meme is an image or video that has gone viral on the internet and has been changed by users for a funny purpose.

In a nutshell, meme marketing is the use of memes to raise awareness, advertise a product or service, increase engagement, and more. Meme Marketing is a term used to describe any marketing effort that uses memes.

Although memes have an unfavorable effect on a company, the advantages far exceed the drawbacks. To learn more on the matter you can check out our blog on How To Use Memes Effectively For Your Brand – Your Complete Guide

Now without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the brands that have been impacted negatively by the use of memes.

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Examples of How Memes Affected Brands Negatively 


1. Coors Light

For avid beer drinkers, Coors is the sippy cup version of the beer. It’s too light to be considered as ‘real beer’ and is often compared to pee. Although later it was proved that the news was fake. 

The story that sparked the uproar quoted information from a Foolish Humor post headlined “Budweiser employee admits pissing into beer tanks for 12 years.” 

“This website is a funny page whose primary aim is entertainment,” the site’s ‘about us‘ section explicitly states. “Foolish Humor is a work of fiction that does not reflect reality.”

But the damage was already done, and people didn’t waste a moment when it came to slandering the brand.

2. United Airlines

This American airline recently received widespread criticism after beating and dragging a customer off the plane because there weren’t enough “volunteers” willing to give up their seats for employees.

The airline was also chastised for not allowing teenage girls to fly in leggings because they broke the family dress code regulation.


3. Apple

You’d think that nothing could bend Apple sales. That’s perhaps true for the most part, but in this age of the bandwagon, we’re sure memes have changed the minds of a lot of people. Especially when all they talk about is how Android outperforms Apple in every respect.

4. Samsung

Samsung had a major dip in sales when their Galaxy Note 7 phones took ‘being lit’ too seriously. Samsung has still not recovered from the nightmare; however, memes aren’t the only ones to be blamed for that reality.

5. Lays

In the early 2000s, the King of Chips in India became famous when people all around the world openly mocked their “lack of chip” quality. People prefer to spend their rupees on superior chip firms since there are so many options.


6. Fair and Lovely

Our country’s oldest cosmetic brand is also quite often the target of internet memes and we’re sure its urban target group is beginning to realize its product is not completely effective.

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That concludes our brief discussion of how memes may be utilized to harm a company’s image. Although it is not just the responsibility of memes for the company’s negative perspective, it is also the fault of the firms themselves.

These were just a few examples of how memes have the power to negatively impact a brand’s image. 

In such cases, the immediate response of a company should be crisis management if the situation goes out of control.

Learn how you can manage a company’s reputation on the Internet and build solutions for damage control with this Online Reputation Management Course

We thank you for taking the time to read our blog. If we have missed out on any brand be sure to comment it down below and let us know.

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Karan Shah

Founder and CEO at IIDE

He is a passionate public speaker and teacher for over 10 years. He has trained over 60,000+ students and 25+ corporates in Digital Marketing via online and offline channels. He is a Harvard alumnus specialising in E-commerce......[Read full bio]


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