Why understanding humour in content is vital for brands

21/Mar/2022 · 2 MINS READ

An incredible report by Imgur and GWI was recently recently released (it can be found here) focusing on the foundation of internet culture and the language used as a result.

What stood out was the focus on meme culture and other forms of humourous content and how we – be it online communities, general users of social media or even active social commentators – turn to humour to connect and to comment.

If you cant say it, say it in a meme

Memes, gifs, funny photos and short videos underpin our expression online – and they hold more meaning than just a quick laugh. Communicating through memes and funny content can be both a playful way to connect or carry great and weight. Whether shared publicly or via private messages memes are how we project our opinions and build our digital personalities and stance.

We see this across major cultural and political events – elections, wars, economic booms and busts – they become a meme-field almost in real-time, revealing the nature of internet “joke” content as a vehicle for cultural commentary.

Meme is the new therapy

In 2020, Vox declared that “memes are the new therapy,” helping people cope with a seemingly insurmountable level of global distress (link here). Meme content can facilitate forms of connection and healing. Difficult topics like mental health can be broached with greater ease that comes from humour, as well as the shared human bond that humour fosters. Even today, we see meme communicate opinions about the war in Ukraine, highlight the inefficiencies of governments globally and be used as all kinds of commentary that forms a sort of digital protest.

People who do, meme

According to the research document by Imgur and GWI, finding entertaining content has become a bigger driver for using social media than connecting with others, sharing life updates, and discovering brands. Meme-ers are also active internet users in terms of shopping and commerce. Users who follow meme accounts are nearly 60% more likely than the average U.S. social media user to say that finding products to purchase is a main reason for using social media.

Why memes are important to brands

Speaking the language of the internet – and your audience – requires an understanding of what its key elements are, what sort of meaning is ascribed to them, and how users consume and share this type of content. Brands shouldn’t jump on the meme bandwagon but they should attempt to understand the language around memes and what makes a certain meme go viral. It’s this type of understanding that helps brands to have a greater understanding of what makes their audience tick.

Full report can be found at: