Brands Need to Stop Saying ‘Bae’

By Karen Fratti 

hashtag activismNew York Magazine‘s Annie Lowrey is not impressed with your brand tweets. And why should she be? They’re often pointless, trying to be “too cool,” and out of place.

She writes that 2014:

was a year of many terrible things — aviation disasters, the establishment of a hyperviolent caliphate, and Gamergate, just to name a few. Add to that list the galumphing attempts of consumer brands to curry favor with #millennials on their #social networks with #memes designed to go #viral.

In fact, brands trying to get in with millennials are so prevalent, there’s an entire Twitter account that catalogs all the brands saying “bae.”


All of these are cringeworthy and it’s about time we call each other out on this. Sometimes, tweeting like a snarky teenager works, Lowrey points out. She doesn’t mind Denny’s and while DiGiorno Pizza may have been boozing, their social voice is at least consistent. Lowrey concludes that:

Too often, in other words, brands on Twitter are not on-trend. Brands on Twitter are your uncle posting out-of-focus selfies on Instagram with 13 hashtags, including #Sunday and #shorts. Brands on Twitter are your high-school science teacher comparing electrons to Zack Morris to try to get you to stay awake in fifth period. Brands on Twitter are your weird cousin talking during the movie when you’re just trying to watch, okay? Jesus, Freddie, do you always need to be the center of attention?

Why do they keep doing it then? Because they’re hoping that one of these days, they’ll have their “Oreo moment.” But that might never happen, especially if “fleek,” and “thirsty,” are in the style guide. As Lowrey suggests, no one is going to buy more burgers or toilet paper because you talk like a 14 year old. Instead of trying so hard, form a real social strategy. With a plan, with a focus on real time engagement, and once in a while, a sense of humor. Stop being that uncle with 13 hashtags. You’re embarrassing us.