Gucci — always one to be at the cutting edge of culture (well, ever since Alessandro Michele took control of the brand) — is now launching a meme campaign.
Yes, internet memes. To promote its new watch collection, Le Marché des Merveilles, Gucci launched “TFW Gucci” — a nod to the popular internet lingo “that feeling when” — that includes a series of memes made in collaboration with various artists. The brand announced the campaign on its social platforms, beginning by sharing several of the memes on Instagram, where Gucci has 13.3 million followers.
Gucci tapped the work of some of the most popular meme creators around the globe for the imagery, including Rozaline Burkova and John Yuyi, plus the brains behind accounts @beigecardigan and @williamcult. The photos include a diverse mix of modern photographs, as well as historical paintings, such as a portrait of Elenora di Toledo painted in 1560 that is superimposed with the caption, “When he buys you flowers instead of a Gucci watch.” This photo already has more than 26,000 likes.
#TFWGucci William Ndatila (@williamcult) has a darkly luxurious aesthetic. His addictive Instagram feed ranges from memes to videos of upcoming DJs and eerie images, curating a personal style from found digital material. For #TFWGucci and #LeMarchédesMerveilles timepiece, Ndatila found Italian Renaissance painter Agnolo Bronzino’s portrait of Eleonora di Toledo, created in 1560, and captioned it. This is an example of a reaction meme—an image a user reposts to express their own feelings. Here, Eleonora is disappointed in the quality of gifts from her potential suitor. — Text by @kchayka. Read more through link in bio.
“It’s not just familiar standards like Grumpy Cat or Doge. Visual artists now create memes as a unique form of communication, seeding their ideas across the Internet,” Gucci wrote on its website. “…Adapted from a popular meme, That Feeling When Gucci is about the moment of putting on one of the watches, when the world suddenly becomes different and time slows down a little bit.”
Low-brow internet memes aren’t particularly synonymous with luxury brands, so the dichotomous pairing has raised some eyebrows. Several people took to Twitter today in bewilderment about the campaign, which includes photos with captions like “When you have Aquagym at 3 pm but you need to accessorize your existential angst eternally” and “How it looks when everything in life starts coming back together.”
John Jannuzzi, the U.S. lead of Twitter Moments, didn’t mince words (or acronyms) with his thoughts on the memes.
i dunno man i love gucci but that meme campaign JFC
— John Jannuzzi (@johnjannuzzi) March 17, 2017
These users echoed his sentiments.
this Gucci meme campaign needs to be taken down immediately
— claire (@clairehends) March 17, 2017
the gucci instagram acct is posting original meme content what’s happening
— mimi hong (@mimignoh) March 17, 2017
Others were more enthusiastic about the campaign.
Gucci and these meme’s are genius marketing.
— fana (@givenchyfonzie) March 17, 2017
— Kay Dee (@iKayyBella) March 17, 2017
gucci’s meme’s are the best 😂😂😂pic.twitter.com/oXxVU54JL0
— jessica ☼ (@_jbsand) March 17, 2017
“As Gucci’s memes spread across the Internet, they’ll reach new eyes and find new purposes. As Dawkins might have observed, it’s all about evolution,” the Gucci posting says, in reference to British biologist Richard Dawkins who conceived the term “meme” in reference to mean “an imitated thing.”