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Success Kid

Page history last edited by Andrew Waite 12 years, 1 month ago

Case Study

By: Andrew Waite


Description & History



Name: I hate Sandcastles / Success Kid



Purpose: Entertainment, Advice Animal, Bragging


Production value: Amateur



I hate Sandcastles / Success Kid is an 'advice animal' meme with a small boy clutching sand in his fist and a tough look on his face. It was originally just a fun image, but has mutated into a meme all it's own. Success Kid memes are denoted by the first line being an action, while the second line says something lucky about it. I.E. "Got Drunk, Didn't text my ex". 




Laney Griner took a picture of her son, Sammy at the beach. The photo was taken on August 26, 2007 and uploaded to flickr sometime right after. 

It's peak popularity was in February 2012 when the image was put on a billboard for Virgin Media. It's most popular in the United States, but has a following in Canada and the UK as well. The picture became popular on flickr and according to KnowYourMeme, the image began to trend on myspace (in Jan 2008) as a profile picture for users and sometimes with the caption "I hate Sandcastles" or "Ima f_ck you up!". The image was then photoshopped and placed on Pyzam.com with the other child in the background. On January 28, 2011, the advice animal "Success Kid" was uploaded to Reddit.com.




Original Site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sammyjammy/sets/72157620597747933/


Remixes / Parodies / Responses:


The first remix was I HATE SANDCASTLES. 

The image became popular in early 2008 and then in early 2009 Success Kid went viral.



3rd World Success Kid


Appeal and Audience

The meme is appealing because Sammy is a cute kid doing a funny thing. The advice animal meme is thriving because it gives people the opportunity to share their lucky or successful moments and brag about it in a socially acceptable way. The audience is mainly college age people. Sites like reddit constantly post Success Kid memes. 

Social and Cultural Factors

As said before in it's appeal, the reason this image is viral is because it allows people to share something good/an achievement and brag about it in a culturally acceptable and unique way. It has it's own form of exclusivity to it and people can relate to many of the images. The image has been extremely popular on reddit and there hasn't been much resistance from the Laney Griner, despite owning a copyright on the image.

Virgin Media in 2012 began to use Sammy for their billboard advertisements. They call him Tim. Laney Griner gave Virgin Media the permissions (which they paid for) to use the image and is quoted saying "I'm hugely flattered by everyone's interest in this." The image is also going to become part of Vitamin Water's marketing campaign. 

The billboard was recently defaced like this...


Resources / Further Information


In terms of outside 'readings'. I could see a connection with the movie Outbreak. In the movie, the virus starts off one way, but then mutates and becomes more infectious and deadly. In a similar manner, I hate Sandcastles was the start and then Success Kid was the mutation and took over as the dominant meme.


Sammy is still cool...




















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