Increasingly, the growing trend amongst major corporations is establishing a brand voice on social media that’s anything but corporate. These days it’s no longer an out-of-the-box strategy to ‘roast’ a competitor or even an everyday consumer through a snarky tweet – it’s now the norm. This evolution of social media communication from serious to fun can be traced back to Wendy’s, the undisputed trailblazer of turning being #SavageAF on social media into a successful marketing strategy. As QSR Magazine explained in this recent article, Wendy’s is unabashed in calling out the competition and roasting other users, much to the delight of its more than 2.5 million followers. Its Twitter presence has made Wendy’s not just a more-fun-than-usual braded account, but a destination in some ways. Carl Loredo, Wendy’s VP of brand and advertising, explained to QSR that while a sassy Tweet may not necessarily drive business at restaurants, this strategy has helped the brand build a loyal following and continually showcase a playful voice that the company feels reflects the brand identity it’s had from day one.
It’s safe to say that other brands have taken notice and hopped on the being savage on Twitter bandwagon. It took me less than 60 seconds on a quick Google search to find all of the examples of major companies roasting either competitors or random Twitter users sampled throughout this blog post (my personal favorite is the Netflix ’13 Reasons Why’ reference to Hulu). While there are no doubt some cringe-worthy instances of brands trying and failing to go viral with a tweet that wasn’t nearly as funny as they anticipated, I still hope this trend is here to stay.