A Humor Site Carved the Century’s Best Memes on a Giant Monolith and Buried It for Aliens to Find

LULZ for the future, from 9GAG

Headshot of Angela Natividad

We often wonder how our culture will be understood by archaeologists of the future. Will they watch hours of cat videos and conclude we worshiped them, like the ancient Egyptians? Will they examine reality TV and wring their hands over our universal preoccupation with who gets the rose?

Or will they sift through comedy website 9GAG and puzzle over the relevance of dickbutt?

To ensure they do exactly that, 9GAG has set its own offering to future generations (and/or aliens) in stone. Literally.

With help from Barcelona-based LOLA MullenLowe, 9GAG fêted its ninth anniversary by erecting the first man-made monument to stupid humor, featuring its best memes. And dickbutt.

The 13-foot-tall, 24-ton treasure was buried “somewhere in the desert” on April 19.

“This monument is a true and fair image of humans in all their stupid, silly, memeiest glory,” Nacho Oñate, executive creative director of LOLA MullenLowe, tells Adweek. “Hopefully whoever finds it will have as great a sense of humor as we do.”

9GAG—a phonetic term for “make a funny joke” in Cantonese—was founded in Hong Kong in 2008. It was first seeded in 2012 for $2.8 million. In addition to its ninth anniversary, this massive stone pays tribute to the fact that the site never had to seek another round of funding again.

Today it has a global audience of 150 million people, of which only 10 million are U.S.-based. So let’s just say its memeage is pretty representative of our generation.

Ahead of the unveiling, 9GAG asked its audience to vote for their favorite nine memes. Some 650,000 users in 100 different countries decided that—in addition to dickbutt—the monument should include Friendzone, We need AIR support, World vs USA, PPAP, Doge (shiba inu), Salt Bae, Shit just got real and Hardest name in Africa.

"Maybe future generations of humans will find it ... or maybe aliens from another planet. Who knows? We only hope some overzealous dickbutt superfans don't find it first."
Nacho Oñate, LOLA MullenLowe

LOLA MullenLowe then had Antonio Soler, a monolith sculptor (that’s a real thing!), carve them onto a giant rock, guaranteeing their perpetuity if the internet otherwise fails us all.

“The historical legacy that we were leaving for the future didn’t really define us at all. It’s all too serious and meaningful and intelligent. The human being is such a funny species, and we think its only fair to make that a part of our history,” Oñate adds.

“Maybe future generations of humans will find it, or an evolution of our own species, or maybe aliens from another planet. Who knows? We only hope some overzealous dickbutt superfans don’t find it first.”

Below is a shot of the monument being delivered into the desert, which is very Stargate.

We’ve often considered what we’d say to future generations or an alien species. Some years ago, we settled on “It’s not what you think.”

But given that stone has historically always been the most reliable way to study past cultures, and this may well be the biggest find they’ve got, we’d revise our message thus: “Everything you’re thinking right now is totally right. Every last thing.”

Creative Agency: LOLA MullenLowe
Client: 9GAG
Campaign: Fun Legacy
Client contact: Rachel Wong, Lilian Leong
Business Director: Gonzaga Ayllón
Chief Creative Officer: Chacho Puebla
Executive Creative Director: Nestor García, Nacho Oñate
Creative Supervisors: Santiago Davis, Leandro Mosca
Head of Planning: Gem Romero
Account Director: Esther Mestre
Project Manager: Marta Toda
Head of PR: Sarah Okrent
Producer: Vanesa Pulido
Production House: Story: We Produce
Director: Dani Fortuny
Post Production: LastCrit

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@luckthelady angela.natividad@gmail.com Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.