“New power is the deployment of mass participation and peer coordination to create change and shift outcomes” Jeremy Heimans, TED speaker

The #IFC2017

The Brand Meadow team recently attended the inspirational #IFC 2017  (International Fundraising Convention) over in Amsterdam. IFC is a great way to meet a broad range of delegates from the third sector, make new friends and take away inspiration. The event kicked off with an opening plenary from a speaker called Jeremy Heimans, who talked about the “fundamental shift in the balance of power in the world” and how disruptors such as Airbnb and Kickstarter are managing to reach a lot of people all at once with their new power mass participation models.

Source: Shifting Power: Public engagement & participation in the 21st century | Jeremy Heimans | TEDxGateway

New power and mass participation

Another example Jeremy gave is Donald Trump’s electoral campaign and his consistent use of mass participation to get his messages heard, aka Twitter. Like it or not, Trump, who rose up from the shackle free commercial world was hugely successful in his campaign style. He used what Jeremy talks about, using mass participation and consistency of messaging with a technology powered movement to get traction. He is never safe in his communication. He takes risks. And then amplifies them through the traction and dissatisfaction the world media feasts upon. One Guardian reporter, Douglas Haddow reporter wrote:

“When appropriated by the emerging alt-right, memes become a different weapon. They call it “meme magic” – a phenomenon which has helped vocalize and activate the more extreme wings of the Trump base and introduce white nationalism to a new generation of disaffected nerds. Meme magic is almost identical to meme warfare in that it attempts to use shareable images and ideas in an effort to engender real political change.” Douglas Haddow, Friday 4 November, The Guardian

Trump even jumped on the meme wagon during the August solar eclipse by retweeting a meme made by Jerry Tavone, a Trump supporter and YouTube activist.

Source: Peter Jacobs, August 24 2017, Business Insider UK

Meme magic

Memes? So what is a meme? A meme is a clever way to get a message amplified quickly. Usually humorous in nature, memes cause chuckle ripples throughout social media and make what can be an incredibly serious topic seem human. To be precise, a meme is an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by web users, often with slight variations. You may have experienced some examples of popular memes such as Rickrolling which was an unexpected appearance of the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Those led to the music video believing that they were accessing some unrelated material are said to have been rickrolled.

Source: YouTube


Are they nonsense? Yes a lot of them are! But think about it – they shape popular culture, get traction for movements and what better way than to engage wth humour. We predict that memes will become more and more sophisticated in their use, helping deliver powerful messages and effecting change quickly across the world.

Using memes for good causes

We work with clients in third sector, all whom have an extremely emotive cause and powerful message. Let’s turn our attention now to using mass participation tools for good and adopting some of these principles, such as the use of memes to your advantage. How can you use memes to your advantage?

Emotion and humour. A winning combination. So your cause is tackling a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Be it a service, a product or awareness. What you are doing will connect with a lot of people. And people will feel passionate about it.

We tested this philosophy ourselves at the IFC in Amsterdam. We wanted to create a real buzz around our exhibition stand and provide something fun but with an underlying mission to build up our network and create awareness about our products. As fundraisers are heroes working tirelessly to raise vital funds to help a good cause, what better than transforming them into superheroes?

Delegates simply took a picture of themselves, picked a mask and a superhero name. Their fun meme was then tweeted straight out to #IFC2017 and also printed out to put in their lanyard. Aside from being fun, this created promotion for them and their charity, the conference itself and we had our Brand Meadow web address referenced onto every tweet and our logo on every print out. What’s more it was a a way of gaining momentum for our products, giving something nice and personalised to our visitors, obtaining GDPR complaint data capture and most importantly consistent brand messaging.

Source: Brand Meadow Bird technology

Just think how this technology could be used on a bigger scale! Innovate by creating something fun and getting your brand ambassadors and their friends to very quickly amplify your message for you. Become innovators in your sector.

Are you interested in discussing meme generation ideas for your next campaign? Get in touch with Allie for a free no obligation chat [email protected] or visit our meme builder page for further information to see how our technology can help.

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