Yo, what’s pawpin my fellow marketers?? Are you trying to create marketing materials that are on fleek? Do you want to avoid looking ratchet? Wouldn’t it be totes awesome if your customers were to cash you outside? How bow dah?
If the above sentences were groan inducing, good. They were meant to be. If you have ever considered using vernacular like this in your own marketing content… watch out. There is an entire subreddit dedicated to calling you and other brands out on poor attempts to sound cool.
Called /fellowkids, the sub describes itself as a place for “media where ‘the man’ tries to appeal to young people using their vernacular in a lame, pandering way” to be dissected and mocked. The takedowns of lame ads and comments are hilarious. The audience is eagle-eyed when it comes to spotting disingenuity. The brands end up looking foolish.
Why foolish? Well, because it’s the first sign that you are trying way too hard. So many brands are trying way too hard to fit into youth culture by coopting memes, catch phrases, internet slang and political movements.
No one likes to be pandered to: it’s condescending and can even be offensive at times. When you use memes or other forms of internet culture, you immediately come off as an outsider, an interloper trying desperately to be cool. The easiest way to be uncool is trying to be cool.
So as I said before, be yourself. If you are trying to be self-aware enough that you realize you are an outsider. Extend an olive branch to the online communities and invite them to help you craft a message like Doritos with their Crash the Super Bowl campaign or Kraft’s Mini Oreo campaign made by crowdsourcing site eYeka. Both brands used crowdsourcing to create good marketing that both captured an audience attention and received positive media coverage. You and your brand can do this too.
Alright, well I’m done here. Going to go hang out with the cools kids and do cool kid things. Fellow kid, out! (mic drop)
Copywriter & Content Specialist