I can has Conspiracy? Unsolicited Marketing Infiltration of Lolcats and other Internet Memes


As an ordinary internet user, I’m a follower of the usual inane internet chatter of Lolcats, Trololos, and YTMNDs. But I’ve noticed a startling recurrence of a few brand identities appearing throughout all of these: The Burger King King, Ronald McDonald, Dr. House and other characters from Fox television shows specifically – frequently appearing in a recurring schedule with a similar style, as if made by the same person or group of people.

Are these honest creative expressions using familiar commercial characters and images, or is there an underground network of marketers hoping to build viral, off-channel marketing for brands who cater to the young, male, internet-trolling population? I hope to provide examples and dig up proof of what may be a thrilling conspiracy, or at least a good laugh.

Robin Balmer

Affiliation Webtrends
Website http://www.robinbalmer.com/

Robin Balmer is a design technologist at Webtrends in Portland. He follows Ishmael’s code in Moby Dick: “I try all things; I succeed when I can.” He does this through dabbling in all thigns graphic design, web development, and modes of storytelling such as film and tabletop gaming.