Fullscreen Culture Hot Takes — The Power of Memes: How a Mock Movement Inspired a Real Community


In the last few months, you may have noticed aliens and Area 51 references scattered throughout your social feed more than usual. And you’re not alone. Maybe… We’re not alone. 👽Here at Fullscreen, we noticed extra extraterrestrials too and we decided to trace its origins. That sprinkling of alien references can be traced back to a full-on storm of conversation, which led us to the fascinating story of how the meme of the summer became more than a meme—it has actually inspired an IRL community gathering.

The question, “Do aliens exist?” is not new. So why did this topic take off now? No one predicted a Facebook joke would spawn into an original event taking place in the barren desert of Nevada—where people really intend to join together to create the very first Alienstock fest. The quick-moving pace of digital content and consumers craving real connections are both catalysts in the explosion. In just a few months “Area 51”  took over our social feeds, permeated pop music culture, and got some shout-outs from big brands, too.


What does this mean? In short, memes have power! They are unpredictable, spring up from grassroots, can take on several different shapes and forms, and it turns out they can help create a reason for people to connect face-to-face. When we take the time to ponder ”Why this? Why now?” memes also tell us a lot about the current state of our culture. In our latest Culture Hot Take, we uncover the evolution of the Area 51 meme, dissect the “why?” and decode what this means for your brand.

Click the link below to download our Culture Hot Take:


The Power of Memes: How a Mock Movement Inspired a Real Community is part of Fullscreen’s new feature Culture Hot Takes, where we look at trends at the intersection of culture, entertainment, and brand intelligence, giving brands a glimpse of what’s new and next and how to capitalize on these key shifts. The Fullscreen Culture Report, published twice a year, takes an even deeper look at trends among young consumers and how brands can engage with them. 

For more information about our Culture Hot Takes or The Fullscreen Culture Report, please contact brands@fullscreen.com.