The more cynical people get, the more brands have to mask their end-goals and create temporary goals of connecting with people. This narrative has existed for decades, but the corporate grip for authenticity has become so undignified and dishonest that products themselves have completely left the conversation. It’s a pissing contest for who knows their audience better.
Eventually, what we’ll be left with is a bunch of censored, bootleg meme pages, littered with Coke and Pepsi logos, begging for likes, voraciously measuring success by little digital-hearts that have no tangible connection to what they’re actually selling. All our time is spent passively roaming the digital world, so why shouldn’t companies make sub-businesses off that?
What happens when Denny’s is known more for their funny Twitter account then their restaurant? We forget that they’re a restaurant, so when someone opens a diner that tastes better, we won’t hesitate to eat there instead. They’ll simply show us a picture of pancakes, and we’ll buy them, because people-being-hungry-for-pancakes is what started this entire thing in the first place.
The end game will always be to sell products. Even if brands could keep up with trends and meme formats, chances are, there are more relatable places to find content: from the people that create it without any monetary incentive. So copywriters, if you’re gonna make a joke, make it relevant. There’s a really ugly and confusing rabbit hole opens up if we don’t.