Are We Too Polite?

We are all used to occasionally seeing branded social feeds slip-up. Whether it’s an ill-timed tweet, a typo or an abrupt response…it happens, and it can often go viral before you’ve had time to read the end of the tweet.  Brands now often take every step possible to ensure they do not intentionally or unintentionally offend anyone.

So in the age of the internet – where screengrabs ensure mistakes live on long after a stray social post has been deleted – have we become too polite?

Some brands have made a name for themselves by being purposefully sassy on social. For the most part they escape scrutiny and increase engagement because of this. However, a lot of brands do not have the license to make jokes or use colloquialisms. They don’t get to be a stand-up comedian purely because they have a Facebook feed.

Target enjoyed having their cake and eating it this week– they benefited from someone NOT being corporate and saying what they and probably everyone else was thinking.

I enjoyed seeing the reaction of both Target and its consumers to a man who took it upon himself to become their customer service. He set up a fake profile on Facebook to respond to Target’s customer complaints about their new gender-neutral range. He was able to poke fun at the consumers where Target themselves would never be able to. He had three hours before his page was pulled. Target posted a fun picture depicting Trolls later in the day showing they had a sense of humour about the situation.

While brands can’t always say what they really feel on social, it’s fun to imagine what they would say if they could. See below examples from the Target hijack for some fun inspiration.

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Rosie Lewis

Rosie Lewis works as a Creative on OMD’s very own Creative Team. She is always seeking out inspiration and innovation. She loves sharing her passion with others and is likely to be found writing about empowering, interesting and real communication ideas.

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