Abid Hussain Barlaskar
Social Media

When a user-generated meme became Truecaller's official communication

Truecaller recently unveiled its predictive caller ID feature for Android users. Tweeples went ahead and made a healthy meme out of it and Truecaller endorsed it.

"Is the Viral Non-Ad Ad the Future of Advertising?" This headline of a New York Times' article around a viral Renault ad is a crystal clear depiction of today's times. The case fits well across multiple situations taking place in the Indian advertising and marketing scene. The article was about a long form content-like ad in which the brand has very little or no intrusion in the story. The communication we're discussing here isn't even an ad. It's a meme about a recently unveiled feature of caller id app Truecaller. The feature helps users predict calls before the phone rings. The app throws up an alert with the caller's id a few seconds before the phone rings.

Launched in 2009, the Swedish company provides a suite of services such as a dialer that offers caller ID, spam detection, messaging and more.


While iPhone users have been enjoying the feature for some time, it was unveiled for Android recently. The meme was created by a Twitter user @sagarcasm, and is based on a the photo of a 'smiling Usain Bolt' dashing away ahead of his rivals at a Olympic 100-meter dash in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In the meme, Bolt represents the Truecaller notification. This meme was retweeted at least a couple of thousand times and has probably garnered more attention for the new Truecaller feature than it received during the actual launch. Folks at Truecaller, without wasting much time, endorsed the meme by retweeting it from the brand's official handle. The meme and its endorsement is an example of how telling brand stories is not the brand's preserve anymore.

Also Read: Making sense of the JCB Ki Khudai viral phenomenon

We witnessed a similar situation recently when netizens woke up to a strange viral phenomenon "JCB Ki Khudayi." Memes around the way how Indians tend to gather around to watch earth mover vehicles dig and transport earth/mud/tar barraged social media. JCB expressed gratitude in a tweet celebrating the memefest.