ON Broadcast Blog

How do you do, fellow kids?

It’s not a new phenomenon… brands attempting to   be ‘down with the kids’ in order to infiltrate that pesky 16-25 market, but when do these multi-million pound companies cross line between from cringe-worthiness to pure genius?

Greggs is a recent prime example of a brand that got it right on their social channels. The brand showcased the benefits of the genius benefits of choosing to put a snarky employee firmly at the reigns of their Twitter account. Their sassy replies to Piers Morgan’s Twitter meltdown over his hatred of their vegan sausage rolls garnered widespread – money can’t buy- coverage for the new product.

Every journalist worth their weight was clamouring to get their hands on one of the most talked about pastry treats of all time…. Leading to national coverage galore…

It didn’t take long for other brands to jump on the ‘wind-up Piers’ bandwagon. After rolling out their long-awaited vegetarian menu, McDonalds’s became his latest target. Their new veggie happy meal was scoffed at by Piers leading to their Greggs-esque comeback.

In this era where we have the US president constantly having twitter spats, is a confrontational online presence the best way to get the young people on your side? Netflix takes a different stance on social media by going full “meme”.

From trend-chasing the meme of the month to down-right awful punning, Netflix fully embraces Generation Z’s irreverent humour. However, they may not hold the approval of the youth for long. At the end of the day, brands are brands and this can be a hard notion to shake from the “woke” youth’s conscience. Capitalism = bad. Corporations = bad. Corporations tweeting like a 15 year-old = bad.

It’s obviously a fine line to tread. Wiping all humour from a company’s timeline would leave it blander than a cucumber sandwich, but trying to be down with the kids is leading to backlash. Greggs was a prime example of turning backlash into even more coverage but will stunts like that be a thing of the future?

The increasingly dissatisfied youth of today may start to think twice before hitting that retweet button the next time a brand tries to take on Piers (no matter how much they may hate him). To pander or not to pander? No matter which side brands fall on, social media is still obviously king. That is, until it’s decided social media altogether is uncool and we scrap it completely and replace it with town criers and carrier pigeons… or you know, good old fashioned broadcast PR.

Fraser McIntosh

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