Social media has been seeing a lot of red–literally. Memes from scenes of The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu’s new hit series in which female characters are forced to wear bright red robes, flooded Twitter and Facebook in response to the approved GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care on Thursday.
“But you said it wouldn’t pass the Senate.” pic.twitter.com/Iq56xZgkDS
— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) May 4, 2017
The social media campaigns are clear signs of protest against “Trumpcare 2.0,” but they also spread a strong message to organizations and business leaders–and its something that all brands can learn a thing or two from.
When it comes to marketing, it’s common knowledge that social media is a popular tool for reaching people. But few things go viral faster than a meme (a.k.a. pop culture references and short quips), proving it to be an effective way of reaching an audience.
Live from the WH Rose Garden pic.twitter.com/ASW2prWXVa
— jbperrone (@jenperrone) May 4, 2017
For example, when President Donald Trump issued a travel ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations early in 2017, many companies took to social media to protest. Airbnb released a Super Bowl ad showing a diverse group of people and text that read, “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”
In the case of people using Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel as a means of voicing political outrage, users are finding creative ways to illustrate an important point. So far, four episodes have aired on the streaming service and showed women being stripped of their status as equal citizens. The new legislation would replace the Affordable Care Act with, among other things, a bill that make things like domestic violence, rape and c-sections pre-existing conditions. Folks on the Internet have likened The Handmaid’s Tale about a near-future where women are oppressed.
The message in the memes is to not sleep through changes that could have a negative impact on lives, and that the future depicted in The Handmaid’s Tale may not be totally impossible. Using examples from popular shows, movies or music to express a point not only leverages people’s emotions, it helps them connect to the message.