‘Silence, Brand’: How to Avoid Corporate Cringe on Social Media

As consumers beg for authenticity, brands recycle the same stale humor

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Last week, New York-based 20-somethings banded together on TikTok to share their dating horror stories about a guy named Caleb, who apparently designs furniture at West Elm and has a track record of showering women with attention and then ghosting them. And whether viewers believe that the trending topic is an invasion of privacy or justified skewering, there is an overwhelming consensus on social that reactions from brands like Hellmann’s, Ruggable, Daily Harvest and the many other brands that chimed in were self-promotional, awkward and overall cringe-worthy.

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