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How LOLCats helps Toyota and Kraft

Tips on marketing to millennials from a leader in internet humor.

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Ben Huh of the Cheezburger Network attends the 12th Annual Webby Awards with Emily Huh on June 10, 2008 in New York. (Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)

By Justin Menza, CNBC

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.

Huh said that big brands like Toyota and Kraft Foods are looking to better understand how to market their products to millennials, or those born in the 1980s and 1990s.

"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.

"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.

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Original Source URL: 
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100296877

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/companies/121211/lolcats-cheezburger-toyota-kraft-marketing-millenials