I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m mildly captivated by Scumbag Steve’s transition from meme to…actual human being living the “scumbag life.” The fact that Blake Boston (that’s his real name) has embraced being a “scumbag” after discovering that a years old photo of himself had become a meme is something I find both hilarious and fascinating. We’ve already documented his efforts to turn Scumbag Steve into rap persona and further cultivate his scumbag credentials on Tumblr, and now it appears as though he may be cashing in (or selling out, depending on your perspective) as a product pitchman for Brisk tea.
Yes, the macro you see above wasn’t created by regular users of a site like Quickmeme or Meme Generator — it’s actually part of a Scumbag Steve-themed ad campaign Brisk is running on image hosting site Imgur to presumably appeal to internet nerds like all of us.
With 2 billion monthly page views, advertising seems like an obvious business plan. The problem, says CEO Alan Schaaf, is that “the Imgur audience has always hated ads.” So yes, the company runs a banner ad on each page, but the audience probably sees it as a necessary evil. They probably won’t be happy with a second ad, Schaaf says, so a different approach was needed.
That was the impetus for a new ad that’s running today, prepared by creative agency Mekanism for Brisk iced tea. Instead of just running another ad, Mekanism and Brisk created an image that borrows from the Scumbag Steve meme. It looks pretty similar to other Scumbag Steve images, with a photo of Steve accompanied by a dick-ish message — except this time, the message is promoting Brisk (you can see the ad above).
I actually kind of like this and can see a lot of potential incorporating other memes. In fact, here’s a free one, Brisk…