Dear Corporate Social Media Accounts,
Hi there. I’m a Millennial who spends copious amounts of time on the internet. As a result, I come face-to-face with your online marketing campaigns on a daily basis. For that I have one thing to say….
STOP TRYING TO BE COOL.
I get it. We’re a generation that requires you to be our friend before we buy your products. You want to relate to my generation on a personal level through memes and off-brand humor. I get that, I really do, and I can see that you’re trying. But some of you are trying too hard and it’s so painfully obvious that it makes me not want to do business with you.
For example: Denny’s. I went to the breakfast chain a lot when I was a kid. I was always pretty neutral about it. Not my first choice, but not my last choice. Then I got a Tumblr. Then Denny’s got a Tumblr. Now they’re an annoyance in my daily life. Their posts are weak rip-offs of terrible jokes and it’s all just a terrible allusion that they’re a “hip” company. Their marketing campaign has made them an inside joke within themselves.
Another company that sticks out in my mind are those Trolli gummy worms or whatever. In an effort to appear hip and relevant to us Millenials browsing the internet, they made a ‘gif’ for the Dalai Lama’s birthday. First off, the Dalai Lama’s birthday isn’t that relatable. People aren’t going to be searching for gifs of the Dalai Lama’s birthday. Second, this gif was so bad that I actually let my jaw drop and then laughed at it for a solid minute.
Third, they weren’t even on time for his birthday???? Like???? Why even make this atrocity if you’re not going to be on time?
But I will give these companies one thing: they sure know how to establish a brand. Every time I see a Denny’s, I think about their terrible marketing campaign. If I ever see a bag of gummy worms, I’m to going to think about that terrible gif that diminished a world leader into nothing more than a meme.
I just don’t understand the appeal of making such a poor effort to relate to the Millenials. In fact, it’s sort of offensive that they would think we were gullible enough to fall for such tactics. Even if that wasn’t the purpose of their campaigns, that’s how it looks. It looks like these companies think so low of us that they think they can just rip-off our jokes and believe we’ll think they’re as cool as us.
Well to those companies, I want to direct your attention to a social media campaign I actively approve of…Ihop.
Did I love Ihop previously? Yes. Did I mainly follow Ihop on Twitter to spite Denny’s? Absolutely.
But following Ihop on Twitter has introduced me to a social media campaign that respects its audience. While they do try to use Millennial slang with mediocre effort, it’s not condescending. They know they’re a company first. They’re not looking to be our friend, they’re looking to sell us stuff. That’s why most of their tweets are either delicious pictures of their food or calls for action to buy more pancakes/waffles.
There are other companies out there that balance casualness with professionalism (Digornio’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s…I’m noticing a pattern), but overall it’s painfully obvious that most social media accounts aimed for Millenials are not ran by Millenials.
So please, corporate social media accounts, either give up on trying to be our friend or hire some people somewhat close to our age to run your accounts. I can only handle so many gifs of religious world leaders before I snap. What’s next? Pope John Paul II playing with a cat toy?