Should we worry about the person behind Steak-Umm’s corporate Twitter account?
On Wednesday, Steak-Umm tweeted a manifesto to millennial angst that covered mental health, underemployment, student-loan debt, media addiction and generational disconnection.
It was extremely real.
It connected with a lot of people.
It came from the maker of thinly sliced frozen steaks.
The thread went like this:
● “why are so many young people flocking to brands on social media for love, guidance, and attention? I’ll tell you why. they’re isolated from real communities, working service jobs they hate while barely making ends meat, and are living w/ unchecked personal/mental health problems…
● “they grew up through the dawn of internet culture and have had mass advertising drilled into their media consumption, now they’re being resold their childhoods by remakes, sequels, spinoffs, and other cheap nostalgia, making them more cynical to growth or authenticity”
● “they have full access to social media and the information highway, but they feel more alone and insecure than ever. being behind a screen 24/7 has made them numb to everything, anxious and depressed about everything, and vitriolic or closed off toward anyone different from them”
● “no soundcloud to add here. at the end of the day it’s easy to tweet about problems and complain about ‘the other,’ it’s a lot harder to improve the self and work toward solutions”
● “be encouraged and have hope my beeflings, the world needs it”
Steak-Umm’s rant – replete with clever puns such as that “making ends meat” – outlined the problems that young people face and meta-analyzed its own role in them.
It could easily have anticipated the reaction that followed:
How is a frozen meat company so relatable? Why am I feeling these feelings?
How does a sliced-beef brand empathise with my desire to scream into the void?
Are Steak-Umm and “Zendaya is Meechee” the only places to turn to on the internet right now that don’t make me want to burn everything to the ground?
Of course, that’s what Steak-Umm wants you to think.
Its message may have been soothing to people who are going through some stuff – which, given the week we had, is pretty much everyone, am I right? – but all of this is marketing, plain and simple. You might not have had a positive view of Steak-Umm before this.
You might not have thought of Steak-Umm at all.
Cultivating a distinctive social-media voice is a powerful strategy, and it’s one that works well for food brands – especially fast food, convenience items or nostalgic childhood favourites.
It is sardonic and a little bit nihilistic, emulating a comedy style that has come to be known as “Weird Twitter.”
It reads as if the clinically depressed social-media manager behind it has been let loose.
– Washington Post