“Call Me Maybe” Meme Explained
There are two kinds of people in this world: People who know Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is a thing and everyone else. We’re going to help you join that first group. Let’s start with the basics of the song from the 2008 Canada Idol contestant. “Call Me Maybe” was released in September 2011, but it didn’t really go anywhere until months later. Here’s a look at the video.
Face it. There’s nothing you can do about it. This song has summer confection written all over it. It’s frothy; it’s bouncy; it’s everything you want a pop song to be. There are, however, plenty of pop songs that become huge hits without penetrating our nation’s consciousness any further. “Call Me Maybe” has leapt from the radio, Spotify, and Ipod to become a broader pop culture meme.
The song got its first lift from a video uploaded to Youtube by Big Time Rush’s Carlos Pena, featuring Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and Ashley Tisdale, a who’s who of millennial tv stars.
That video was released in February 2012, and was probably responsible for bringing the Canadian pop star’s song to the attention of Gen Y. The song’s popularity would continue to grow over the next couple months, but it would be another video that would catapult the song to the attention of the masses. The song’s second life really kicked off with a video of the Harvard Baseball Team lip syncing to Carly’s song. Check it out:
Awesome, right? It hasn’t been just videos, though. Call Me Maybe images have been percolating through Tumblr, Facebook, and image boards for months. Here are some examples.
As you can see, “Call Me Maybe” works on its own because it’s a phrase that is so peculiar while giving voice to a feeling that has been had by anyone who has put themselves out there, making a romantic overture, waiting for a response from another. It also meshes well with other memes as you can see by many of the examples above.
The meme and the song keep building in popularity, too. Shortly after the Harvard Baseball Team video was released. The SMU Women’s Rowing Team responded with their own version of the Harvard Baseball team’s video.
There are many more versions of that video now. It’s Numa Numaing its way through Youtube. This weekend, this awesome business card surfaced.
There’s much more to come from this meme. The song will probably continue to remain popular through the summer, and as more people are exposed to these images and videos, they’ll definitely join in on the fun. I mean, I know they just saw this, and this is crazy, but they’ll grab Photoshop and copy, maybe.
UPDATE: Oh boy, it looks like we’re rolling in Call Me Maybe business cards now!
UPDATE 2: The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders have joined in the fun.
UPDATE 3: BARACK OBAMA