This week’s meme is Domo Kun
The Back Story: Domo is a classic example of a meme turned mainstream. Domo Kun is the official mascot of Japan’s NHK television station who began appearing in stop motion animations used for station identifications around 1998. He had some popularity in Japan for many years but did not get recognized in the U.S. until a Photoshop contest on Fark.com in 2002. The theme of the contest was “Photoshop a porn addiction â€œGet Wellâ€ card” in which one of the users came up with this PSA announcement:
From there Domo took off and the PSA image spread across the net with huge popularity. NHK stopped using Domo in 2004 and it’s likeness and name were picked up by Nickelodeon in 2006. Nick planned a series around Domo with a release in 2008. This was fueled by Target Stores using Domo for their signs in the fall of 2008 along with merchandising and even 7-Eleven jumping on the band waggon with Domo Kun collector cups and other merchandise. Another market that wanted to cash in on this was the Video game market. To date, Domo has 5 video games on the DSIware on the DSI Shop application for the Nintendo DSi.
So this meme has gone full life cycle. From an animated creature for a local news station, to an internet masturbatory joke, to stuffed animals and an image children wear on their clothing.
The set up: Domo is taking over!