How LOLCats Helps Toyota and Kraft
The Cheezburger Network, the humor empire of 60 websites best known for user-submitted images of cats with quirky captions, also consults with some of the biggest consumer brands to help them reach younger consumers, CEO Ben Huh told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Monday.
"For us it's really about getting them to understand this generation of people who see internet culture and memes and the remixing of content as a gateway to understanding and marketing to an audience," he said.
Traditionally, companies have tried to impose their message on consumers. But Huh said companies shouldn't fear users.
"We want to help brands understand that if you want to embrace the customer you have to trust them, too," he said.
"Don't be afraid of letting users take control of your brand, and making them into something that they can enjoy and love," he added. "Don't be afraid of having a little laugh, having a little fun."
Otherwise, millennials will spend time looking at funnier ads someplace else, he warned.
While consulting is one part of the business, Cheezburger Networks continues to depend heavily on advertising revenues which Huh said could be reaching an inflection point.
"Right now the market is really interesting because mobile advertising has to really take off for companies like us to continue to grow in the future," he said. Huh said the question is still out there as to whether mobile advertising will have as high a value as desktop internet advertising.