10 Memes That Became Real Life Ads

Memes are kind of the celebrities of the internet, so it makes sense that they would land commercial endorsement deals just like any other person who’s famous for doing nothing. Hey, I’d much rather see memes on my TV and on billboards, than Snooki, anyone related to the name Kardashian or some famous old dude hocking boner pills. Actually I don’t want to see any ads hocking boner pills. I’m happy for you old guys, I just don’t want it shoved in my face. Okay, that sounded really wrong. MOVING ON… Here’s some memes that landed endorsement deals!

Grumpy Cat


Company:Anti-drinking PSA for theElizabeth Forward School District

This anti-drinking billboard in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania uses Grumpy Cat in all the wrong ways. Grumpy Cat’s “NO” is being used here in an almost positive way. STOP MESSING WITH HIS PERSONAL BRAND, YO! Grumpy Cat hates everyone and would probably be happy if dummies got drunk at prom and did something stupid, so long as it didn’t interfere with his life (pretty much just like every cat).


Keyboard Cat



Company:Wonderful Pistachios

Wonderful Pistachios has made a name for themselves not only with their tasty nuts, but also with their love of using internet memes and faux celebrities in their marketing. Remember the Honey Badger one? I miss me some Honey Badger. Keyboard Cat has always been one of my faves, as I have a thing for fat ginger cats, so to see his doppelganger tickling the ivories is bittersweet. Never forget, every animal we love from TV, film and the internet are probably dead. Cue that Sarah MacLachlen song.



Company:Swedish Subway

In Sweden, they love Doge so much that he’s become the official mascot of their subway system. They are the first company to use Doge in ads, and all I have to say is WHY? Why Doge? What does he have to do with public transportation? They even used the internal monologue part of the meme. “Such Cheap. Very Buy. Wow.” Wow indeed. And not in a good way.





The “Y U NO” guy is almost an obvious choice to be used in advertising. I mean, isn’t every ad basically asking “Y U No use our products or services”? San Francisco-based HipChat agreed and paid for a Y U No billboard in the Bay Area that brought them major media coverage and new customers. So the moral here I guess is that sometimes rage is pretty effective, and not just for makeup sex.






When the CMO of Fiat asked his ad agency, The Richards Group, to create some fun GIFs for their Tumblr page, (yes Fiat has a Tumblr page) he loved them so much he ended up making the GIFs into full-on video ads. They include tons of viral-y internet memes, including twerking, horse heads, and narwhals. I have to say, they’re actually pretty cool as far as ads go. The campaign was given the catchphrase “Endless Fun”, and that’s pretty much all the internet is (along with endless trolling and endless time-wasting). Fiats look kind of fun too, and they are internet cat cute!





Grumpy Cat (AGAIN!)




The latest meme to get some big commercial bucks, well for her owners at least, is Tartar Sauce AKA Grumpy Cat. Done in retro game show style, Grumpy plays ‘Will Kitty Play With It?” and clearly the answer is no. Because Grumpy Cat doesn’t like anything and most of all she doesn’t like the fact that her owners have subjected her to this humiliating experience. Just Sayin’! There’s something about this ad, that kind of diminishes Grumpy Cat’s appeal for me. But maybe it’s just the incredibly unfunny meme text the ad uses. Congrats internet meme creators! You are 1000 times funnier than professional ad writers! Grumpy Cat still hates you.


Rebecca Black




What better way to promote the universe’s most annoying, rage-inducing ‘holiday’ than by using Rebecca Black’s 2011 earworm, soul-crusherFriday? Two things that are both all kinds of ‘I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.’ They totally missed a great opportunity by not having Patrice ‘Creepy Rapper’ Wilson jump out of a pile a crap and lay some fly Kohl’s rhymes on us, before he tramples an old lady to death Black Friday-style, much like he tramples our ears to death with his continued effort to create music. It’s metaphor, yo.


Honey Badger



Company:Wonderful Pistachios

If you’re looking for a badass spokesperson, it doesn’t get more badass than the Honey Badger. You gotta love how he uses a cobra to whip open the nuts. That probably even works on those goddamn pistachios that aren’t split open partially already. You know the ones you break your teeth on because you’re too lazy to break out the nutcracker and too piggish to just throw it away? Just me?


Success Kid


Company:Virgin Media

This kid is perfect for expressing the delightful surge of happiness you get when you realize something is free. Especially when it’s related to cable television. Cable TV providers are like the Scumbag Steves of companies, so it’s nice to see Virgin trying to be more of a Good Guy Greg.


Antoine Dodson



Company:Sex Offender Tracker App

I mean really…ain’t nobody got time to constantly hide their kid and their wife, amirite! This app is like having your very own pocket-sized Antoine Dodson! It lets you know by the simple click of a button any sex offenders that are in your immediate surroundings, whether it’s the park, a wintry mountain top or your grandma’s doily-filled parlour room. It’s technology, y’all! Unlike the Grumpy Cat ad, this one is pretty dang funny. Because..ANTOINE DODSON! I have 2 questions…where is his reality show already? AND is the mini red phone bandanna sold separately?



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