Since the dawn of ads, brands have sought to convince us slack-jawed plebes that they’re just like us. Sure, they’d like us to buy what they’re selling, but not because they told us to. No, they want our business because they care about our business. And to care about our business? Well, that’s to care about us. The best ads, after all, turn their caps backward before looking us square in the eye and saying, “Forget about the product for a second. Let’s just talk, me and you.”
Social media’s provided the perfect gateway for these covert suits to adopt this kind of easygoing demeanor. Ads masquerade as posts now, blending into your stream of celebrities, friends, and shit-posters with lower-case, punctuation-free musings on life and pop culture. Some, like Wendy’s and MoonPie, have seen their stunts go viral, be it through clever campaigns or general weirdness. It was only a matter of time, then, until Steak-umm got self-aware, Wingstop roped Wendy’s into a rap battle, and Pop-Tarts tried to start some shit. Things were already out of hand, and that was before Sunny Delight and Little Debbie showed up to make things weirder.
SunnyD, the drink otherwise known as “not orange juice,” took to its Twitter account on Sunday to post some inane shit about the Super Bowl. “3-3 SCORING SPREE,” said one post. “Travis out here looking like he’s the new sheriff in @toystory,” went another. Perhaps realizing these cracks were doing nothing to sell the drink upon which the company was founded, SunnyD’s social media manager threw up their hands and echoed the sentiments of anyone actually reading its posts: “I can’t do this anymore.”
Like flies to a fresh corpse, the brands came running. MoonPie, Pop-Tarts, and Uber Eats all sought to “comfort” SunnyD in what was sure to be an amusing portrait of Brands Acting Like People. “What’s going on sunny,” MoonPie asked tenderly. “Mood last night,” SunnyD replied after a long pull on its Juul. “All good MP thanks for checking in ily.” And we’ve never reached for the “purple stuff” quicker.
As the gang chuckled at a brand posting the kind of shit we’d be concerned about if it were Pete Davidson, Little fuckin’ Debbie barreled in with some suicide prevention tips, which is apparently what the team at Little Debbie thinks people want from their snack cake purveyors. Oops, it’s already been deleted, but, thankfully, the Brands Saying Bae account screenshotted it for posterity.
It’s all a bit ickier, too, if you think about the timing—Super Bowl Sunday—and the swift, enthusiastic response from these brands that present themselves as being Extremely Online. Is it crazy to think this whole, misguided endeavor was mapped out on a whiteboard beforehand?
Considering this is the same world where Steak-umm tried to posit itself as a voice for disenfranchised millennials, no, we don’t think that’s crazy at all.