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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

The Real Gushers Makes Memes

Silver Honor in Instagram Presence


The Real Gushers Instagram page is an amalgamation of our passion for our brand and our love for our fans. Without one, you cannot have the other.

Gushers aspires to unleash what is unique inside, and we've applied this aspiration to our Instagram strategy. Our brand is rooted in the unexpected: a burst of fun in every bite. In the current competitive landscape, it's easy for brands to be noticed for their humorous content on Twitter. So in 2018, we set out to unleash our quirk and become the go-to and favorite meme account for teens on Instagram.

Today's Gen Z teen's are deeply-rooted in meme culture and have a higher aversion to traditional advertisements compared to older generations. Knowing this, we had to create humorous, thumb-stopping content that fits naturally in their feeds. With this approach, we have been able to grow our social community almost entirely through organic reach and engagement. Ultimately, we push ourselves to cultivate real human connections through highly shareable "this is it chief" content and bring simple moments of joy to those on the other side of the screen.

Strategy and Execution

The major keys (cue DJ Khaled) to our social success are a passion for meme culture, active listening and engagement with our loyal fan base, and a stand-out personality and swagger.

Do It For the Culture

To earn the right to hang out in meme culture, we must first understand meme culture. We have to know our "It be like that sometimes"s from our "I had to do it to 'em"s, and our "uwu"s from our "owo"s. In the fast-paced world of social, a meme can be fire one minute and cringe the next. Versed in the worlds of Twitter, Tumblr, and Reddit, we seek to understand the current meme trends and craft our Gush-ified take on them, incorporating our bright and fun brand values. The result? The Real Gushers Instagram page has become a curated collection of relatable scenarios and in-the-moment cultural references that ultimately relate back to an overarching love for your favorite hexagonal bipyramid fruit snack.

The Real Connection

The magic doesn't end there. We have created a loyal audience of Gushers "stans" (see also: Gusher Gang, Gushcult) through real human interactions. Engaging with our fans is the lifeblood of our page's success. Responding to as many Direct Messages as one can manage has been the source of one-on-one connections that our Gen Z audience craves.

When these relationships are established and nurtured, great things happen. This opens up opportunity for our most loyal fans to send us art, fan memes (showcased in an ongoing Instagram Story series), and user-generated content that we turn into new memes on our feed. This relationship is also lived out in the comment section of our posts, where fans flock to grab the attention of The Real Gushers. Our posts are riddled with comments trying to provoke a reaction and connection with the human side of Gushers, which sometimes helps a piece of content take on a second life of its own. All of these things combined are what keep our audience engaged, loyal, and coming back for more.

*Mic Check*

In order to effectively execute on our meme and audience engagement tactics, we must have a clear personality and tone of voice that is carried out in every aspect of our Instagram presence. While many brands have gained notoriety from their witty clapbacks and roasts, we know our true self is more likely to support than to drag down. We are quirky, confident, and clever, and we are more likely to say "you do you" than "boy bye."


-Engagement rates consistently between 14-20%

-2018 Total Organic Impressions over 15 Million

-Memes reposted by large meme accounts (ex: @barstoolsports) and popular subreddits (ex: r/FellowKids)

-Multiple industry articles and podcast mentions of our work:

-This Brand Can't Stop Making Weird Memes

-Can Someone Please Explain To Me Why Gushers Has The Best Instagram Page I've Ever Seen?

-Social Pros Podcast: Social Media Crisis Management (min 25:13-28:00)

-NPR Here & Now Podcast: Gen Z Consulting Firm (min 6:00-7:00)


Entrant Company / Organization Name

The Social Lights, Fruit Gushers


Entry Credits