If there’s a silver lining to the rapid metastization of Brand Culture on social media, it’s that someday we’ll be able to look back it all and say, “Yep, evolution is definitely real.” How else could you explain the last decade of public-facing corporate culture, which has steadily moved, through a dismal variety of easily tracked steps, from “We’re sorry we screwed up your nuggets order, sir,” to “Hey fuckos, let’s talk about Naruto while slurping down #Frostys with our squad.” The strategies vary—from Wendy’s computationally calculated “sass,” to Steak-Umm’s beef-based life coaching, to Moon Pie’s irony-heavy self-deprecation. But the lesson is obvious: They’re here…and they’re learning.
Which brings us, in roundabout fashion, to today, and the introduction of a new apex predator into the Branded Twitter ecosystem. Quail and quaver, mortals: The Arby’s Waifu has arrived.
Technically, the character has been floating around on the internet for a few months, allowing dedicated loose sandwich meat fans to finally answer the question man has been asking himself for centuries: What if I could marry an Arby’s? But the company made a full court press for Arby’s Waifu acceptance today, inviting fans to reinvent their personal horse(y sauce) person of the branded apocalypse, in their own artistic style.
(Oh, and for the blessedly unenlightened: A “waifu” is internet-speak for a cartoon character that someone has taken as their animated child bride; it’s a lot like that time those guys got in a fight over which of them was “married” to a My Little Pony, but with a soupçon of anime bullshit gently wafted over the top.)
And we know what you’re thinking, person who’s been on the internet for more than 8 seconds (and has seen the shit artists like to get up to with that poor Wendy’s girl): What about the perverts? Rest your weary mind, friends: The Arby’s Waifu might look like a small child with a blob of sauce delicately positioned on her chin, but she’s actually a mature 54-year-old woman, just like Arby’s itself. (Which is actually the most accurately anime thing about this latest descent into corporate online madness.)
Anyway, we’re sure we’ll regret writing this article some day, when the Arby’s Waifu is tattooed on all our foreheads, right next to the barbecue sauce spigots installed there by our cheerful corporate masters. For now, though, we can only remember the words of George Orwell, who once wrote that if you want to imagine the future, picture a human face, with an Arby’s Waifu body pillow suffocating it, forever.