City Road Communications

All Hail the Meme: Why Memes are More Than Just Funny Pictures


Once upon a time there were monosyllabic grunts. Then came primitive drawings and rudimental language, which steadily over time – and we’re talking thousands and thousands of years – evolved into the complicated dialects that we recognise today.

Ok, so we’re not exactly historians here at City Road Comms (although our Head of Content, Dom, does have a hard-earned history degree under his belt), but we’re pretty sure that’s how human communication has developed through the ages. And that’s what we’re interested in: communication. How do people convey messages and, more importantly, how can we make a point to ensure the audience engages with it?

There is, of course, no simple answer to this. Not only do different demographics interact with different methods of communication better than others – our soon-to-be-released Psyche of the Investor research report will demonstrate that – but also the way we send and receive messages is changing all the time. Take memes, for example. The word ‘meme’ may have only entered our everyday lexicon over recent years, but it’s already established itself as an extremely popular method of communication.

It would be easy to dismiss memes – or image macros, as they are formally known – as merely being funny pictures with text laid over the top, as a step backwards to the aforementioned primitive drawings and rudimental language. However, they are so much more than that; they are short, to the point and very shareable across social media platforms – that equates to an effective method of communication!

Memes have become one of the most common tools for social media users to express their views on world events. The last three weeks have served up some great examples of this. Take a look at some of our favourites below, which have all come off the back of the recent tumultuous events in Britain, and you will see how memes are actually powerful ways of communicating one’s opinion on politically-charged subjects while lightening the mood:

23 June: Britain votes to leave the EU


24 June: David Cameron resigns as PM


27 June: England lose to Iceland in the Euros 2016


4 July: Nigel Farage resigns as UKIP leader


11 July: Andrea Leadsom withdraws from Tory leadership race after commenting to The Times that being a mum gives her an edge over Theresa May


12 July: The Labour Party rules that leader Jeremy Corbyn will stand in the leadership election without the need to the backing of 51 MPs or MEPs first