Brands in SEA trendjack Bernie Sanders meme on social media

Bernie Sanders is breaking the internet...in his own way after attending the inauguration of Joe Biden following a tumultuous election season. Although seemingly inconspicuous, Sanders' picture has since captured the hearts of netizens, with many commenting on how he was dressed comfortably while the other politicians were appeared in formal attires. Sanders' absolutely meme worthy image was  photoshopped into different images such as a group shot of American band, Fall Out Boy, as well as iconic movies such as Harry Potter and Netflix's Bird Box. The virality did not stop there with an Instagram filter featuring the image popping up.

Not wanting to miss out on the action, brands too jumped on the new internet sensation. Check out some cheeky posts we found online:

Circles.Life

Not a stranger to trendjacking, the telco company created a meme to represent how Singaporeans feel when waiting for their online purchases to arrive. It also snuck in a plug to emphasise that its SIM card delivery can be received "as early as tomorrow".  

circles.life bernie

HoteLux Singapore

Membership-based luxury hotel reservation app HoteLux has also used Sanders' meme to plug its newly-launched app. In an Instagram story, the company featured Sanders sitting in for what seems like a discussion meeting. The post is accompanied with the caption: "Even Bernie Sanders wants to know more about our newly-launched HoteLux app!" 

bernie hotelux

IKEA 

The furniture company in Switzerland has also used Sanders' viral picture to promote one of its chairs. In its caption it said: "Hi Bernie! We don't have any self-knitted gloves in our assortment but [we have] very comfortable chairs!" Separately, its Greece counterpart, along with creative agency Ogilvy, also created a "Get the look" post with the viral meme. In its post, it featured the chair that Sanders is sitting on, as well as oven gloves (which we think referred to the mittens Sanders was wearing).

ikea bernie

bernice ikea greece

This is also not IKEA's first attempt at making references to US politicians. In 2019, when former president of United States, Barack Obama, made a trip to Singapore for a live discussion session, IKEA Singapore tried to cheer those who did not manage to get tickets by publishing a Facebook post with a picture of an armchair that costs SG$299. This was a cheeky reference to the Obama live tickets which was sold for SG$345. IKEA's accompanying caption read: "Even if you can't make it to see the Obamas, you can still chill out for under $345".

INTI International University and Colleges

Meanwhile, Malaysia-based university engaged with its students by using the Bernie Sanders meme to relate to Malaysians waiting for the movement control order (MCO) to end and for INTI's campus to be open. The post, which saw Sanders "sitting" on top of an art installation on campus, was found on INTI's Facebook page, and it called for students to caption the picture.

bernie intiAg

Brands are not the only one jumping onto the trendjacking bandwagon. The team at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE also saw PR firm Mutant Communications "welcoming" Sanders into its agency with a cheeky caption: "Come on Bernice, the Mutant office inauguration isn't until Monday". Clever use of the meme to announce its new office, we think.

bernie mutant comms

Have you seen more of brands who tapped into the #BernieMeme? Let us know at graceo@marketing-interactive.com!

Related Articles:
Emily in Paris gets SEA tour as brands crop her in on their stunts
Brands and governments in SG and MY jump on 'Among Us' trend
Breast Cancer Foundation apologises for trendjacking ad gone wrong