You might be asking yourself right now, “what in the world does that hashtag mean?” Well, if you’ve ever been on the popular short video sharing app Vine (RIP), you know exactly what it means.
Vine user Gasoleen shared a short video of a sign for her local Del Taco restaurant that had the unfortunate mistake of spelling the phrase “Fresh Avocado” horribly wrong. Instead, the sign read “Fre Sha Voca Do,” and like all Internet crazes that for no apparent reason take off and reach legendary status, her Vine has been watched more than 46.9 million times since it was uploaded in February 2016.
It’s even inspired a ton of parody memes:
When you have a Vine that’s poking fun at an unfortunate spelling error for one of your restaurant chains, you should probably take notice. And that’s exactly what Del Taco did. But not in a way that you might be thinking.
Instead of trying to cover up the small problem, and act like it never happened, Del Taco took the opposite approach: they dove headfirst into the hilarity of a new Internet meme. Because of the massive watch numbers for this one simple Vine video, Del Taco recently Tweeted out a video ad featuring audio from the Vine that offers a free fresh slice of avocado on any taco when customers use an attached coupon. And what’s prominently featured at the top of the coupon? #FreShaVocaDo
— Del Taco Restaurants (@DelTaco) March 17, 2016
Del Taco did exactly what you should do as a business who becomes the butt end of a harmless joke: embrace the humor, embrace the fun, and embrace the meme.
This isn’t the first instance of a business being transformed into a popular meme overnight. The same thing happened to Vans this year, with the “Damn Daniel” Snapchat story.
This was a simple video where one teenage boy jokingly followed his friend around a school, videotaping him and saying “Damnnnn Daniel!,” and “Back at it again with the White Vans!” The video got so popular that the two boys were invited on the Ellen Show, and one boy was given a lifetime supply of Vans shoes! Even though this wasn’t a bad situation for Vans, they took advantage of it and really marketed themselves well with this crazy Internet meme.
Both of these cases prove a couple of things:
1. You need to pay attention to pop culture trends! You may be marketing to older generations now, who are less concerned with pop culture or Internet culture trends, but one day the millennial generation is going to be buying your products as well. They probably already are. You don’t want to seem detached from what the rest of the world sees as popular. Take advantage of these weird trends, and use it as a part of your marketing strategy.
2. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself and have a little fun at your own expense. Now, I’m not talking about gigantic snafus that could really cost your business customers unless an apology is issued. I’m talking about small mistakes, ones that can be remedied by joining in on the fun and maybe doing a special promotion just for the lifespan of the joke. The Del Taco Vine was trending on Vine for two days, and the day after it reached peak popularity, Del Taco released their coupon. A coupon that’s only good for a week. That’s a great example of jumping on a trend before it dies.
Marketing and business don’t always have to be serious, and tone deaf to the outside world’s trends. Take advantage of those trends and learn how to implement them into a successful marketing strategy!
And if you need a refresher about all the best viral videos and memes of 2015, check out this list from Business Insider.