Brands today are desperately seeking the attention of the younger generations and are taking to social media to do so. In an effort to be relevant and be seen as ‘hip’ brands are opting to use terms and phrases that are in use by the market they are seeking. More and more on Twitter we’re seeing brands attempting to fit in by adopting the phrase ‘on fleek’ and the popular term ‘bae.’
‘On fleek’ is a popularized term that stemmed from an Instagram video posted by a user in reference to her eyebrows during the summer of 2014. According to the Urban Dictionary, it basically means something is perfect or ‘on point.’ As of late fall of 2014, brands began using the term in their Twitter posts to describe their products. For example, Ihop had several posts describing their pancakes as being on fleek in an ineffective adoption of the urban vernacular.
‘Bae’ is another term that brands are adopting to make themselves more personable and to fit in with their target demographic. Brands now are directly calling some of their followers ‘bae’ in an attempt to engage consumers on social media. This is creepy, point blank. Brands definitely should not reference anyone as bae. I think some Social Media Managers need to rethink their strategy before clicking ‘Post’ on whatever platform they use to manage their feeds.
Brands have latched on to playing on popular album titles (i.e. Drake’s ‘If you’re reading this it’s too late’) to ‘YASSS’ (which by the way, I use all the time in conversations with family and friends to express my emotions on something). I wonder, sometimes, who is googling these terms, words, and phrases and saying ‘yes, that is our next word to wear out?’ Seriously. As a black owned and operated marketing agency, we are a bit appalled by what we’re seeing coming from brands in regards to their ‘embracement’ of the urban community and vernacular. We get it – using these terms make brands appear to be connected to certain communities, but please stop. It’s ineffective, in my opinion, and likened to a middle-age parents using popular terms to try to fit in with their kids. Corny. Instead I challenge brands to create true strategies that appeal to the demographic they are trying to obtain/grow. For example, Coca Cola did a great job in paying homage to Hip Hop culture by creating a campaign that involves using their Sprite packaging to showcase uplifting lyrics of some of the most legendary hip hop artists. Instead of lazy marketing, brands must find a way to draw inspiration from the urban culture in a respectful manner. Hey, we’re open to help out if necessary because we are very much so over what we’re seeing.
Sheena Hunt, CEO of Empowered Strategy