Shifting Consumer Sentiment Reflected in Meme Culture

Meme Culture has offered business of all sizes the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with consumers. It illustrates changing moods of people, reflects current news and illuminates’ trends. Brands paying attention have a real opportunity to shine in the social media atmosphere.


Connecting businesses to consumers on an emotional level, memes have the ability to go straight to your consumers funny bone, or express values which are close to your audience’s heart. . Envision memes as little crumbs that your company can follow to stay on top of how your consumers feel about important topics, and your brand. You can’t talk to each and every consumer, but memes, from serious to hilarious, allow you some of the same privileges and insights.

We can use advanced AI to see how memes play an integral part in the daily lives of consumers, with 9,448,044 mentions of the word ‘meme’ in a month, it’s clear that consumers are paying attention to them.


Looking deeper, we can also see how they’re divided into like-clusters. These highlighted clusters represent the top 8 categories of memes:


And this gives brands a lot of intel to work with. They have begun to recognize the power of using them to connect on a deeper level with their audience.

Meme Culture as Way to Connect with Consumers

Over the past few years, meme usage has gained momentum in consumers daily lives, causing companies to pay attention and begin their own meme making. And in fact, some brands have whole Instagram pages dedicated to memes surrounding their products.

And Bugles, gets high praise for doing this, and doing it well! This brand has been around since 1964, and by now they know that consumers lead the way in what will sell and what won’t. And it may be just this that led them to make their own Bugles Memes Instagram account to better engage with meme culture.

They’ve paid attention to the consumer trend of self-care over the past few years, utilized this knowledge and then turned it into a funny meme incorporating their product:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bugles (@buglesmemes)

And it seems Bugles must have done their research on how consumer have been using their product for years. A crosstab analysis using social listening pulls out what consumers love about Bugles, and apparently, it’s not only the flavor but the fact that they double for finger hats, or witches’ fingers:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bugles (@buglesmemes)

Who hasn’t done this? But it’s a brilliant way to push your consumers nostalgia button. And nostalgia has been proven to make us happier, which makes it a great marketing tool as Bugles already knows.

And that brings us to being relevant in consumers lives and how trends can help shine a light on your meme game in the vast sea of meme culture.

2022 Meme Messaging

Memes have a unique way of bridging the gap between consumer and brand. Since most purchase decisions are made based on emotion, presenting your brand as being current and relatable is critical. This will give any brand marketing power when feeling disconnected from their audience.

So, what does one meme about? Well, Wordle for starters.

Everyone has been playing this simple, yet challenging word game on their phones. They do it on lunch break, in between clients, and at night lying in bed watching Netflix. Wordle has taken consumers by storm. So much so, the memes are coming out of the woodwork:

Even those who aren’t playing it, are making ‘not a wordle’ memes about it:

It appears meme culture has found a new muse.  And brands looking to relate to consumers have used it as a way to connect in a deeper way with their audience – just as Bugles, our beloved finger hat snack has:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bugles (@buglesmemes)

Locating these trends and fads can help your brand create a sense of togetherness, which over the past two years has played a critical role in marketing. Consumers want brands who look, shop, act and play like they do. Using social analytics can help you target your consumers better by understanding what makes them, well… them! And a big part of this are their everyday actions.

But, will Wordle stand the test of time as a trend, or in a few short months will we see it fade?

Meme Marketing Moving Forward

Consumers stay true to trends, whereas fads only last a little while. As a brand, knowing the difference is important to understanding how long to hitch your meme wagon to something. No use creating memes about Wordle, if no one is paying attention anymore.

Recently a video clip from a 2004 episode of Sesame Street featuring a pet rock made its rounds. It showcases a very frustrated Elmo:

Elmo certainly doesn’t care for Rocco’s pet rock; he seems to understand that it is a fad. It’s not real and has no longevity and therefore Rocco should forfeit the cookie. And he was right, of course. The pet rock had 6 months of fame until it slowly faded away. If only all brands could see as clearly as our little red furry friend did.

But they can.

Using social media analytics can give us a bird’s eye view into what memes consumers are engaging with, as well as an idea of what content is trending:


From there, you can track it over time to see if it has staying power. Looking at a search based around Wordle, we can view its popularity and see if it’s gaining momentum. Over the past three months, mentions and posts have declined slowly. Sentiment is steady:


Tracking it will be the best way to determine whether or not Wordle has staying power within meme culture, or whether like the pet rock, it’s popularity will wane after six months and then become a parody of itself.

Social media shifts happen every day. And memes are a special resource for companies to access and use for a number of reasons. Using next generation AI powered analytics offers powerful insight into your brand’s image.

Ready to take the plunge and engage your audience with relevant memes, or whatever amazing marketing tactic applies? Reach out for a demo.


Premier social media analytics platform

Expand your social platform with LexisNexis news media

Power of social analytics for your entire team

Media analytics and market intelligence platform

Enrich your media analytics with social data

Media coverage for historical & real-time monitoring

Actionable data to drive your business decisions

AI, Image Analytics, Reporting Tools & more

Out-of-the-box integration with other data sources