Memes, Mobile and the Message
We are living in exciting times not only are we about to witness the first US presidential election fought through Memes but also the first mobile only Euro Championships.
The Donald, who against the odds and wishes of the Republican Party elite is at the time of writing the presumptive Republican nominee. (Disclaimer, everything I know about US politics I learned from the West Wing).
How has Trump managed to dominate not just Ted Cruz but the firm favorite Jeb Bush? Easy, Trump is king of the Memes, we’ve all heard “Build a Wall”, “Make America Great Again”, “I’m smart” and “I have big hands”. Name even one notable quote from any other candidate from either party? Exactly. The opposition got bogged down in policy and then trying to defend themselves against the Trump sound bites, while Trump just soaked up more and more free air time.
Trump has not just operated in sound bites, but the genius of his content is that it speaks his core audience and outrages people who would never vote for him. The strategy is solid gold as either way everyone shares the gif, video or vine saying how awesome or stupid he is. This gives Trump a dominant share of voice that gives him a dominant share of market.
Studies from Warwick University in the UK and Stanford University in the US show that Memes are an “effective and popular source of criticism (or praise) that extend debate and civic enhance engagement”. With this in mind, when we then layer in mobile where content consumption is short form snackable content we see Memes are the perfect delivery method for any message. Trump (by design or accident) has created a perfect storm of meme content that is perfect for all of the major social (and mobile) platforms be it Twitter, Facebook, Imgur, Vine, Youtube, Messaging Apps and Email (which is still the second biggest social sharing option on Buzzfeed).
When we move closer to home and look ahead to the up coming Euro Championships it is relatively safe to predict this will be the first “mobile only” championship which opens up a number of interesting challenges. The key challenges I feel are in the marketing around the Euros.
The classic industry approaches are TV ad slots around the game and some PR. The difficulty for all operators is how to cut through the competition and differentiate the brand?
As with most things eGaming marketing related it always makes sense to look at what the affiliates are doing. When we look at for example the Footy Accumulators fan page we can see memes are clearly their most effective way of engaging users with memes regularly hitting huge audiences. This level of engagement easily gives each Footy Accumulators Facebook post a reach in the millions. This type of reach costs a lot of money when purchased through your media agency and also far more accountable. Given that Footy Accumulators has made the recent eGR power affiliates list it would also be safe to assume it is backing out into new accounts with operators, which is more than can be said for PR and other ATL brand activity.
The difficulty for operators is that the affiliates such as Footy Accumulators can publish engaging and interesting content for users that most operators (honourable exception is Paddy Power) cannot because of brand guidelines or lack of brand identity. Which is why working closely with your affiliate partners and creating meme friendly for them to distribute is easily the most cost effective way to reach your audience during the Euros.
Our prediction is that just like the US Presidential elections the operators that will win the Euros will be the operators that win the meme wars.