We decode the social effects of media to put their power to good use.

Meme Factory

Experiments in audience-centered advocacy media

Many advocacy media making methods derive from an earlier age of broadcast media. By testing ideas through phone polls and focus groups, they miss out on the honesty of observed behavior, the power of iterating in real-time against audience insights, and the unparalleled speed, cost, and scale of digital. What’s more, while most traditional research approaches are good at finding broad-based, tepid support, they don’t have a mechanism to discover the energizing, mobilizing storylines that drive real change. A new method for advocacy media development is needed, not only to make better, more authentic content, but to break free of the message-poll-based micro-targeting techniques that can exacerbate partisan polarization.



The Meme Factory’s message development methodology combines a rapid-prototyping creative process with multifaceted measurement to figure out the most efficient way to turn fence-sitters into supporters. By sharing real-world content formats (graphics, images, slideshows, videos) with a significant number of real people (targeted audiences at scale) in real-world settings (social-network feeds and digital surveys), the Meme Factory can quickly learn what’s working and iterate in real time.

Meme Factory seeks to compress the research skills of a polling and analytics firm and the creative acumen of an agency into a single lean team with a low-cost, repeatable process. By curating and creating low-fi, social-first video and image-based content to be deployed natively online and tested for engagement and impact, Meme Factory produces high-engagement content that’s shareable, persuasive, and activating for specific, valuable audiences—as well as clear guidance for future organic media creation and paid media strategies. Three rounds of experiments have been completed around a variety of issues, with more experiments pending. You can read the report from the most recent experiment here