Meme making now a lucrative career

Meme making now a lucrative career

Memes have become a popular marketing tool, which has played a huge role in creating a need for full time meme-makers

Typing in the word ‘memes’ on job search platforms such as Indeed and Linkedin will lead one to a list, up to 73 openings long.  

Surprisingly enough, meme-creation is a full-time job. And, a rewarding one at that-- the production house Viacom and the University of Houston are some of the big names who were looking for meme and content creators.

In 1979, Richard Dawkins used the word ‘meme’ for the first time, in his book ‘The Selfish Gene’. The term was coined as a cultural equivalent of a gene — anything that gets passed on from one person to another, that could be the basis for an evolutionary process. However, today, memes have become a form of communication. Subhash NK, student at Dayananda Sagar University, is part of a WhatsApp group that is solely dedicated to sharing memes. “No other communication takes place in the group. These memes keep me updated, helps me start conversations. It also helps in raising discussions about taboo topics, all through humour; that’s what makes memes so special,” he says. 

Its popularity, thanks to the internet, can be attributed as one of the reasons for its sudden growth as a career opportunity in the corporate sphere. They can be designed to reach out to a specific target audience, as a result of which, over time, memes have moved from the realm of entertainment to activism. It has even been relied on heavily by political parties and big corporates. Meme marketing, where brands use memes to attract attention and create awareness, has also become popular. Streaming services such as Netflix and Disney troll their own shows and movies, and sometimes, their audience. The idea of meme marketing was born when Jerry Media, an offshoot of a popular Instagram page, began using their platform to market brands such as Subway, Vogue and individuals such as Justin Beiber. 

Ashutosh Dubey, a content creator at ‘All India Dank Memes,’ on Instagram, notes, “A lot of brands want their products to be meme’d so as to reach their target audience, mostly those belonging to the age group of 15 to 24.” He also says that meme-makers are paid well to promote movies and shows. Dubey started creating memes, while he was in college, as a way to mock his teachers. He was soon hired by ‘Dank Memes Melt Steel Beams’, which is when he decided to make this a career. A well-established meme page can be the primary source of income for those in the content creation business, he says.

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