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Brief Published: 19 Nov 2012

Mobile Network EE Taps Memes

To showcase the launch of its new 4G network in the UK, mobile network provider EE (behind the T Mobile and Orange brands) revived an old, but well-loved internet meme – aiming to attract a younger, internet-savvy audience.

The meme, a YouTube clip featuring a wayward dog called Fenton chasing after a herd of wild deer in Richmond Park (and his comically irate owner), has been remastered and reinterpreted in cinematic, high-definition (HD) quality by the newly minted brand. The plug? To show off EE’s offer of high-speed HD streaming on mobile devices, courtesy of its speedy 4G network – the first available in the UK.

Similarly, South Korean electronics brand Samsung collaborated with UK viral marketing company The Viral Factory to advertise its SSD (Solid-State Drive) product to PC users in the US using the more recent Overly Attached Girlfriend meme. The star of the meme, Laina Walker, impersonates a computer and begs for more love and attention from its owner by selling the Samsung SSD as a better way to store precious files and information.

For digital brands providing the tools for users to create, share and connect with viral internet content, campaigns like these help align them with millions of internet-savvy consumers. But brands should tread carefully and aim to avoid clichéd and overworked virals, which could put consumers off instead of delight them. For more on internet memes and how brands can harness their powerful influence, see our report Meme Culture: We Lovz It