Thought the FTSE 100 didn’t use memes? Think again
Our recent report on memes explains the background of these building blocks of culture as well as investigating how businesses are using memes to engage with clients, advertise new products, and increase brand awareness.

When we started doing our research we didn’t think we’d find many FTSE100 companies using memes. It turns out we were wrong – many of the world’s largest corporations, ranging from defence and aerospace to telecoms, from insurance to banking, are doing exactly that as part of their digital marketing efforts.

Here are a few of our favourite…

Word hashtags: BAE Systems

Word hashtags on social media platforms offer companies a unique way of sharing content with consumers and humanising the public face of the company. BAE Systems used this tactic in a distinct way: employing memes to spread content on weapons systems.

The arms company used popular hashtags such as #ThrowbackThursday to share images and clips on the Harrier Jet, and #MondayMotivation for the Eurofighter Typhoon. Found on both their Facebook and Twitter pages, the images went viral and earned themselves 50 to 200 likes a meme, and hundreds of shares.

Meme-jacking: Royal Mail

By using popular memes and jacking current trends, companies can find their content being viewed by a higher percentage of people (and targeting specific social segments) on the web.

One of the best ways we’ve seen this being used is by UK postal service Royal Mail. Royal Mail has employed memes frequently during popular events to engage with consumers, drive brand, and highlight the value of their service. As seen below, Royal Mail meme-jacked the release of the best-selling game Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare to promote its delivery service to customers. We think that’s pretty cool – it shows that they (or their PR agency) have a solid understanding of current trends and popular movements. Not bad for a 501-year-old organisation.

GIFS: Vodafone, United Utilities

Vodafone regularly engages in meme marketing. Of note is the way they handle complaints and comments on their Twitter page. It is very common for the company to use popular GIFs to reply to customer queries and compliments with generally positive responses from users. This pursuit for customer satisfaction isn’t rare, and has been seen with the energy company United Utilities, who have also picked up GIF replies to customers.

Thinking about using memes?

Memes can be a powerful tactic for businesses to communicate with their consumers. Before you jump in, make sure to read our report Memes, Memes Everywhere which will give you a fuller background to memes, ideas for memes you could employ, and some important takeaways. As always, get in touch if you have any questions.