In case you didn't hear, Gawker trapped Coca-Cola into tweeting phrases from Mein Kampf. to culture jam Coke's #makeithappy campaign. Because god forbid Twitter show any signs of happiness at this point. When outrage ensued over this dick move, Gawker doubled down on the dickishness with this amazingly tone-deaf defense.
The article, which I won't link, is entitled Brands Are Not Your Friends. It starts with the question "When was the last time Coca-Cola did anything nice for you?"
Besides providing a beverage I sometimes enjoy? Besides making me happy with advertising that isn't mean-spirited? Or employing providing jobs to more than 130,000 people? Not once, I guess.
This isn't a defense of Coca-Cola, though.
This is pointing out how incredibly stupid an article attacking a brand and its advertising is. On one hand it maintains that brands are not people. By the end of the article though it insists brands are psychopaths. Which is it?
But let's start at the beginning with the article weirdly suggesting people have never lost their virginity to Doritos, but these brands show up in news feeds of your sister, even though your sister has never appeared on a highway billboard. Huh? Okay. I kind of see the point? I mean, if I've had a lobotomy or don't understand how social media sites are ad-supported, which is why they are free to use, or if I don't know that regular folks' faces appear on billboards as well as TV spots all the time, and that the majority of folks don't mind this unless they happen to write for a site so craptacular the founder was slapped with a class-action lawsuit for violating wage laws.
The rant continues that brands' trying to convey an emotional message of happiness is very very bad. Like really bad. And that we should all be upset by it.
No, what's upsetting is the people who think making a twitter bot-- not a human, but a bot-- make a photo out of Mein Kampf is a good idea. It isn't. It's the product of a diseased hipster mind, obsessed with class-envy, and click-bait featuring ISIS Babies filled with the kind of self-righteousness that has made Twitter the cesspool that it is today.
The article offers up some amazingly paranoid comments on advertising. Like the idea that Coke's Happiness campaign is trying to trick consumers into buying more Coke. How exactly is Coke "tricking," someone into buying more Coke if the happiness campaign is being communicated directly from the brand? What part of a campaign that launched with a Super Bowl spot is covert? If by "tricking you into buying more Coke," you mean "coming up with a campaign based around happiness which it has been running since 1971," than yeah, it's totally pulling the wool over our eyes. Got me there, Coke. How dare they show me something happy!
The article is actually surprised that when Coke pulled its bot campaign, not wanting to be trolled by assholes any more, people came to Coke's defense. Shocking! Why, how is it possible we don't froth at the mouth when we think of Corporate America, the way Gawker does? Why is it we aren't all raging into the dying of the light because a brand is daring to sell a product to us? How is it possible, indeed.
The article ends by suggesting that all brands are inherently psychopathic. As if that's some sort of defense for throwing Hitler in the mix.
Thing is, all brands aren't inherently psychopathic. Unless The Peace Corps's twitter handle is somehow covertly psychotic, too.
Gawker has certainly shown that it is a psychopathic brand, (arguably with sociopath employees) and one that is ultimately unaware that it is even a brand, or assumes its self-righteousness protects it with that special social justice invisibility shield, immune to hypocrisy.
They're wrong of course, but we already knew that. And if I have to choose between brands like Gawker and brands like Coke, I'll stick with Coke.