Gucci’s High-Fashion Memes
Italian fashion house Gucci has applied the language of memes to its products and brand assets to launch its Le Marché des Merveilles collection of watches. The #TFWGucci campaign is a self-aware insertion of the brand's aesthetic into popular online communication habits. To bring it to life across social channels, Gucci collaborated with existing web artists and meme creators (including Polly Nor, Amanda Charchian and Goth Shakira).
Memes are created and reiterated by the same audience that shares them; a variety of skills in image manipulation is part of the format's power. Gucci's access to professional fashion photographers and international visual artists creates an interesting contrast between the easily replicated nature of memes and the fashion house's maximalist brand aesthetic; a kind of 'being extra' (putting in too much effort) that was last appreciated with the Salt Bae meme.
This maximalism also lends a particular honesty to #TFWGucci – the brand may be attempting to mingle, but it does not patronise audiences by pretending to be just like them.
In February this year, web service provider MailChimp similarly used its superior assets for 'Did You Mean...?'. The absurdist campaign scattered the brand's presence across seemingly unconnected online platforms and industries through stealthy content and products.
For those still confused about what memes are, Gucci also provides a short write-up of the format's history on its #TFWGucci microsite. Alternatively, check out our previous coverage of memes going mainstream in our Video Pop Culture Year in Review: 10 Trends for 2017 or our Pop Culture Round-Up: October 2016.