Arthur clenched fist, Evil Kermit, Pepe the Frog and that guy named Roll Safe who taps his head with the slightest bit of smugness. The iconic images accompanied by a caption in a plain front that’s relatable, silly and sharable with little to no context. It’s something that you can easily tap into our collective psyche or express feelings that we sometimes don’t know how to put into words and that’s the beauty of a meme, it speaks for itself; it makes you laugh in agreement, cringe from the realness or roll your eyes over the ironi.
It was only a matter of fact before the luxury fashion brand co-opted in an attempt to bring in more millennial shoppers. Gucci is one of the most talked about brands at the moment and launched a campaign called #TFWGucci a couple of weeks ago. The luxury fashion brand has played a risky game referencing the arrival of the new world of memes in their campaign promoting its line of watches. Designer houses from Comme Des Garçons to Chanel have already jumped on the social media train to promote their brands in a different way online and made emoji packs, but now Gucci is promoting this new bold ad campaign that dared to embrace internet culture and giving out the Gucci memes.
Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michelle revealed a “desire to engage with a wider creative community than that which traditionally locates around the world of fashion” when explaining the reason behind their latest campaign. The collaborative project #TFWGucci that some people are loving (how the fashion house’s foray into internet humour) many of its Instagram followers are not to keen about it and there’s been a huge backlash from social media users.
In an opinion column published at fashionista.com the writer is critical of the brands adopt of memes says that “when big business try to attract younger customers (we see you, Gen Z) in order to make a profit, it comes off as cringe-worthy, awkward and, to be honest ,a lot less fun”. Although in a recent article written by Wendy Syfret in i-D, the topic of discussion points out that millennials have increasingly used memes to help encourage the subject around mental health issues, a topic that have been banned to speak about in public before.
“Twin things make it easier to speak about difficult subjects: humor distance – qualities the memes naturally provide.”
In a way this campaign could have had more thought behind it and you could definitely see it from a two side view (something positive and something negative). But who would have expected to see the Arthur meme, or a post featuring the words “me vs the guy she says I shouldn’t worry about” in a Gucci campaign? I would still give Gucci a A+ for the effort and I really liked the idea that they provided to make something fun and edgy. It’s a new thing to do and not that many people or companies succeed with it like Gucci did.
Written by: Jessica