SB Nation has just gotten ahold of the new promo ad introducing Matt Schaub as the quarterback of the Oakland Raiders. Admittedly he doesn’t look thrilled be in the photo, but SB Nation is banking on the idea that they can turn the image into a meme. It’s a longshot at best.
Memes are fleeting and mysterious; they seem to come out of not one brain, but are cobbled together by several hive minds over a period of days, weeks or years. How many people have tried to start a meme with their “Grumpy Dog” do you think? Or even worse: try to make themselves into a meme.
Laina Walker AKA Overly Attached Girlfriend certainly didn’t ask to become a meme — though she didn’t shy away from at least the idea of it. She uploaded a stalker parody song of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” to YouTube and the neckbeards went from there. The end result? A career for Walker, who is now a regular YouTuber and bonafide weblebrity.
The meme process typically works like this: someone uploads a funny/odd/interesting picture with pure intentions. It’s typically a gesture of purely “Hey, look at this,” proportions. From there, someone slaps on some sort of comment that attracts interest and a refining process occurs. Maybe someone has captured the feel of the picture with their comments, but the verbiage isn’t there yet. When everything finally clicks, the end result then still has an uphill climb to attract the attention of the cultural zeitgeist. Most memes die out in this phase.
SB Nation has tried another technique in the creation of memes: seeding. By creating several other memes off their original meme, they are hoping they can jumpstart the trend on their own.
Here are some of their efforts … do you think it will catch on or die like a thief in the streets of Calcutta — alone and unloved?