As fate willed it, it was the slap that rocked the world.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of days, you’d have read all about the Oscars and how comedian Chris Rock was on the receiving end of a slap from actor Will Smith, after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

As with pretty much all iconic moments, the Internet was all abuzz with images of the altercation, which pretty much hijacked any media coverage on the Oscars. And yes, many memes were created.

Here are 4 brands that daringly trendjacked the Oscars, making that slap work for them.

1. Takagi Ramen

Takagi Ramen
Image adapted from: Takagi Ramen

One of the earliest brands that we saw ride the Oscars slap meme trend was homegrown ramen chain, Takagi Ramen.

Known for their affordably-priced ramen, Takagi Ramen’s ad was a very simple meme format to highlight how eating out at very expensive ramen joints can be very bad for one’s wallet. And of course, that affordable, quality ramen is their specialty.

We’d say the marketing team definitely earned a slap…on the back for a trendy and timely ad!

2. Quest

Image adapted from:

Another brand that jumped on the bandwagon was Quest, a local tech start-up freshly established by a team of SMU undergraduates in 2021.

In short, Quest is a job-matching platform, where users can either assume the role of “citizens” looking for someone to perform a particular job for them, or as the “heroes” who complete quests, earning monetary rewards in return.

You can look for heroes to do literally almost any task from house cleaning and tutoring to even helping to assemble IKEA furniture. Think of the app as Tinder meets JobStreet!

Quest’s social media team posted a series of simple memes based on the same iconic image, highlighting users’ common grievances on the app: not having enough money, being lowballed or encountering creeps.

The ad was rudimentary, but it served its intended purpose whilst showing everyone just how fun and trendy the Quest marketing team is.

3. Helpling SG

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Helpling SG

Branding themselves as a Personal Digital Home Concierge, local app Helpling was yet another organisation that got in on the action.

As the name suggests, the app allows you to call for help for home-related chores. Unlike Quest, the professionals on the app are actually trained, so you can rest assured they’ll do a good job.

On their Instagram page, the Helpling SG team regularly posts content educating people on the common issues homeowners face and how to deal with them. Their take on the meme was 100% relatable – overall, a lighthearted and humorous attempt to gain a few more eyeballs for their brand.

4. Budgy Smuggler

Budgy Smugglers
Image credit:
Budgy Smuggler

Moving away from Singapore, one brand that certainly caught the Oscars wave was Australian swimwear brand Budgy Smuggler. 

If you’re not familiar with them, know that their social media game is extremely on point. Across their socials, the Budgy Smuggler marketing team regularly come up with very catchy posts to generate some laughs and convey the fun-loving, laid-back nature of their brand.

For a brand championing mens swim briefs, it was a great dig at boardshorts, the alternative “normie” swimwear option.

Honourable Mention: Style Theory

Style Theory
Image adapted from:
Style Theory

While the world busied itself with Chris and Will memes, Style Theory brought another golden moment to light. Style Theory used Nicole Kidman’s perfectly captured shock of the moment to remind people of their business ethos of sustainability.

The meme was simple, but it definitely elicited smirks from quite few of us.

Brands that trendjacked the Oscars slap

When it comes to viral trends, sometimes they’re inspired by top-performing social posts like  Priyanka’s SAJC Council Elections TikTok. And sometimes, they’re inspired by shocking real world incidents, and Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars was definitely one of them.

These brands have proven that when it comes to advertising, it’s not all about elaborate copies and fanciful designs. Even 5-minute memes can achieve the same result.

Cover image adapted from: Takagi Ramen, Style Theory


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