Meme Marketing Hits Mainstream: Grumpy Cat Wins at MTV Movie Awards

If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

internet meme marketing

Internet meme marketing celebrity Grumpy Cat hit the red carpet recently at the MTV Movie Awards. And she even left with her very own award, which we imagine didn’t exactly bring a smile to the feline’s face.

So what award did she win, anyway? Best cat? No. Best Meme? No. Grumpiest face? Well, sort of.

The frowning feline beat out all of the other celebrities and guests to win the ceremony’s “best dressed” award. Check out the award winning getup in the photo above. Grumpy Cat has now made it into the Hollywood elite, but this famous kitty got her start with just a few funny online photos. Here’s a look back at some of the key moments of Grumpy Cat’s rise to fame.

internet meme marketing

Grumpy Cat’s real name is Tardar Sauce. She first gained online notoriety in 2012 when one of her owners posted a picture of her on titled, “Meet grumpy cat.”

internet meme marketing

It didn’t take long for the picture of Tardar Sauce to go viral. Seemingly overnight, Grumpy Cat became the subject of countless grumpily captioned photos. Her owners eventually set up a website, secured an agent, and even filed for U.S. Trademark protection. They also began selling Grumpy Cat merchandise, from calendars to clothing, on the website.

internet meme marketing

In July 2013, Grumpy Cat’s owners expanded her brand with release of her very own book, “Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book.” The book includes photos, activities, and lessons in grumpiness. She also reportedly has a movie deal in the works.

internet meme marketing

Around this time, people finally started recognizing Grumpy Cat as a serious marketing phenomenon. She graced the cover of Direct Marketing News Magazine’s July issue.

internet meme marketing

And Grumpy Cat would soon make her first major foray into another industry with  her very own brand of coffee drink. She became the face of Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino in August 2013. Though, despite all this success, Grumpy Cat still never lost her trademark frown.

internet meme marketing

So what would be the next step for the cat who has done seemingly everything? The ability to control the weather?

Well, not exactly. But she can at least deliver a weather forecast to your smartphone. In September, the Weather Kitty app released an in-app purchase called, “The Grumpiest Forecast Ever.” This version of the app features photos of Grumpy Cat along with a daily forecast and grumpy caption.

Qualify for discounts, special offers and more with a Business Prime account from Amazon. You can create a FREE account to get started today.

Photo: Instagram


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

11 Reactions
  1. Hehe! I’m really not surprised she received an award – some kind of recognition. It’s well deserved. She’s hilarious for just being herself! However I was a bit surprised it was for best dressed, but maybe they were being humourous.

    • I think that’s probably what they were going for 😉
      I honestly didn’t even know that was an award until Grumpy Cat won it!

      • Yes, I guess it was with that award. Was tongue-in-cheek.

        For a movie award, I can see why there’s a Best Dressed category.

        I actually didn’t think Grumpy Cat was a real cat until very recently, you know.

  2. You got to love the cat. While he may not be smiling, you cannot deny that you simply cannot resist him. It’s amazing on how his fame rose to greater heights. Now, he’s more than an ordinary celebrity for he is now an award winner.

  3. Martin Lindeskog

    High five to Grumpy Cat! I have to get the Kitty Weather app! 🙂 Could the next thing be the Happy Cat? I will ask our two cats, Robin & Rufus, if they want to apply… 😉