The Best And Worst Internet Memes Of 2012 [Infographic]

The year 2012 came and went (sans apocalypse), but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have some fun with it. As we head into 2013, we’re looking back at the best and worst internet memes of yesteryear, dissecting what made the greats great and the flops forgettable.

Memes are intrinsically social. For many of you, your only exposure to these humorous macros is seeing and sharing them on Facebook. They’re wonderfully and at-time painfully obvious mini cultural records, and in many ways, serve as pseudo-historical accounts (at least insofar as popular culture and the Internet rub elbows). But enough philosophizing, let’s talk about the memes of 2012.

An infographic put together by MDG Advertising catalogs 2012’s memes: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Which ones worked? Which ones did not? Which ones took? And which ones fell apart?

Some highlights from the infographic:

  • Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 YouTube film: Despite strong exposure and noted celebrity response, this viral video fell apart due to criticism that the film was oversimplified and inaccurate, the discovery that only 37 percent of Invisible Children’s budget goes to programs in Africa, and director Jason Russell’s hospitalization (he suffered a very naked psychotic breakdown).
  • McKayla Maroney’s “Not Impressed” meme: A viral success, thanks to BuzzFeed and Tumblr, considered “The Olympics’ first breakout meme” by The Wall Street Journal.
  • Mitt Romney’s “Binders Full of Women”: Need I say more?
  • Gangnam Style: PSY’s viral hit that took our culture by storm with its goofy equine dance moves and tongue-in-cheek video. We might not fully understand the Gangnam culture of South Korea (which inspired the parody video), but we responded to the video either way, pushing it to the most viewed YouTube film of all time.

You can check out the 2012 meme infographic for yourself below (click to enlarge). And check out MDG Advertising on Twitter, here.

Memes infographic

Dusten Carlson
Dusten has written for web and print and currently spends his time working on his upcoming graphic novel. He is also almost 30 and still has all of his hair.

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