#ITSNOTCOMINGHOME, The Influence Of Meme Culture Surrounding The 2018 Fifa World Cup

By Isabel Cosford

With England reaching the semi-finals for the first time in twenty-eight years, it’s no wonder that there has been uproar on social media. Our ‘success’ has united the country with one single hashtag: #ITSCOMINGHOME.

So, we might not have made it to the World Cup final but, we certainly have triumphed in winning the nation over through the use of memes. Hundreds of football fans have followed the England team through their journey, creating their very own memes on Twitter and Instagram. Southgate, for example, has received a lot of attention from fans with Drake-inspired captions like ‘Just hold on it’s coming home’ and ‘”Can you see that, Gareth? That’s football. It’s coming home.”

Dele Jimoh, third-year pharmacist student, believes memes played a significant role in the World Cup and deserve credit in the way they to united the country. Memes “made people support the teams more which, in a weird way, motivated the players… the phrase ‘it’s coming home’ restored a sense of national pride” Dele explains.

Even students who aren’t connected to the digital world of Twitter have still been left laughing after seeing the nation’s wonderful array of meme culture. And the players themselves have indulged into the Twitter trend and made their very own. England defender Harry Maguire and midfielder Jesse Lingard also relate to the infamous Three Lions anthem with these hilarious creations. 

The Three Lions frenzy has been a big hit in the competitive world of marketing, helping to galvanise the well-needed support of fans across the country. Brands like Marks and Spencer and Sure both showed off Southgate’s notorious waistcoat using the hashtags ‘#NationalWaistcoatDay #ItsComingHome’ and ‘#NeverMoreSureItsComingHome’. Supermarket Company, Iceland, has shown their football fever by supporting the team with ‘It’s Coming Home!’ on their delivery vans. But how effective is this new strategy? Business Management student Katie Noonan agrees with this new strategic turn, believing that adaption to the social media hype is “very topical and relevant” and endorses a shared passion for the FIFA World Cup between business and consumer. Could this method then be replicated in Qatar in four years’ time? Noonan believes there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration, regarding the memes effectiveness, for example she states: “With Iceland I would be interested to see if it actually made a difference because their target market is supposed to be middle-aged mothers who stereotypically don’t show an interest in football’. However, Marks and Spencer statistics tell a different story, as Guardian Sport reveals a thirty-five percent increase in sales for the England manager’s particular navy waistcoat. Maybe following the meme movement on Twitter was worth it after all…

From memes to marketing, the digital world has allowed the nation to become involved, especially among the younger generation. Not only has the World Cup spirit booted meme culture into a league of its own but, it has also created a sense of unity within England that will follow us through to the finals in 2022.