Carlton's Blog: The Importance of Internet Meme

Most videos that have the capacity for variation and replication usually make natural memes, says D’Silva.

Nov 28, 2012 02:45:00 PM | Article | Carlton D'Silva Share - Share to Facebook

From Gangnam Style to our very own Kolaveri we have witnessed a spate of successful virals that have not only redefined the word viral but have also proved the power of the digital world in more ways than one. Post the success of these videos we are still left wondering - What makes a video go viral? One similarity among most successful virals is a good internet meme. If the video you have created appeals to your audience enough to create a meme, you will most certainly have a winner on your hands.

What is an Internet Meme?

An Internet Meme is an evolved form of an image, video or any other digital media to the stage of a parody, imitation, etc. A meme behaves like a flu or a cold virus, traveling from person to person quickly, but transmitting an idea instead of a life form. Usually, it’s the ridiculous nature of the video that makes people create a meme (remember Numa Numa and Rebecca Black’s Friday). Most videos that have the capacity for variation and replication usually make natural memes.

Memes are usually cross border/cultural and really have no boundaries. Gangnam Style is a Korean song and it appealed to a wide audience. We saw Bollywood stars doing the Gangnam Style dance to West Indian cricketers using the dance as their form of celebration. My guess is that had video not supported this song it would have not got the recognition that it currently holds. The bulk of internet memes will continue to be humor and shock-value curiosities, as these grab people's attention more quickly than deeper meme content. Memes are the highest form of engagement/involvement with the original video and promotes the originator, as invariably the viewer wants to have a look at the original video to make sense of the meme. Memes have been around long before the internet, it’s only after the social networks took over the internet that memes exploded resulting in instant success for the creators. Here are my top 10 memes that invaded the internet:

  1. Planking
  2. Sholay
  3. Shit Girls say / Shit White people say (make that the whole shit series)
  4. Chuck Norris / Rajnikant
  5. This is Sparta!!!!!!!!!!
  6. Hitler Rant
  7. RickRolled
  8. Rebecca Black's ‘Friday’
  9. Numa Numa
  10. Gangnam Style

So the next time you think of creating a video for the internet and hope to make it viral, make sure you keep it open to memes.



Carlton D’Silva is the chief creative director at Hungama Digital Media and has spent over 15 years in the digital space. He takes insult when you call the digital medium new media…15 years should be old enough! Find him on twitter@TheWordOfGawd