Brands known for their sarcastic, bizarre and anti-corporate personalities on social media are in uncharted waters in a such a rare period of uncertainty.
While many brands are going silent in their marketing efforts, in a push to not risk appearing as insensitive in a difficult period, some brand accounts on Twitter, known for their personality-driven Tweets, are emerging as unexpected voices of reason.
Case in point, a recent Tweet thread by Steak-umm:
With almost 70,000 likes, and 20,000 retweets the thread went viral.
In the thread, Steak-umm offers a critique of the media in its present context of global uncertainty, and preaches the importance of critical thought, now, more than ever before.
Nathan Allebach, the social media manager for the brand, shared the view that building a brand messaging strategy entirely around being sarcastic or sassy doesn’t work in the long run. He explains that a such “one dimensional brand” is not compatible with a “complicated world” – a view proven by the number of brands gone radio silent since the beginning of the pandemic.
Beyond staying ‘innocently humorous’ in a climate like this, brands have had to look to inject more personality or humour into how people perceive a their overall messaging.
In the thread, the account even shows self-awareness, admitting that it’s “ironic” that a corporate social media account, whose purpose is to post ads to “misdirect people and generate sales” is sharing serious advice.
Posted at 10pm, the thread is a reflection of the evolving approach to social media of ‘relatable’ and personality-driven brands. Decoupled from corporate messaging and advertising focused posts, the thread acts as content precisely crafted to impact its audience, to resonate and to be shared.
The account went on to share a meta-criticism on its own post, Tweeting that “our society values entertainment over truth and that’s a huge problem”. It doesn’t take much analysis to recognise the truth behind the statement. Shared from a private account, even one with an audience of tens of thousands such as Steak-umm’s, it’s difficult to imagine such a Tweet thread seeing success anywhere close to those of the brand’s.
Nonetheless, the thread offers an intriguing insight into the viral impact unlikely brands can have in bringing levity, however small, to its audience against the odds of an international pandemic.
Going forward, it also acts as a lesson into the importance of brand flexibility. In the face of the next global crisis, do you want to be yet another brand to go silent to avoid fallout, or do you want to be praised for your cutting, raw and truthful opinions?
In the next trying times, let’s all try to be the oddly insightful frozen meat company.