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Hey, millennials! Do pandering marketers got you like ...


TFW your bae's selfie isn't on fleek?

Millennials are a coveted demographic for advertisers, but like every generation of young people before them, it gets really embarrassing when people try marketing to them. So, let's enjoy how cringe-worthy things get when the old guy on the marketing team starts asking what dank memes are and how to webcrawler search them.

8
Hillary Clinton And Chevrolet Go All-In On Emojis

Chevrolet

Regardless of your political views, young people can all agree on one thing: Politicians are, like, such an embarrassing disaster of square, crusty oldness. The current elections are no exception. Just witness Hillary Clinton stumbling all over herself when she tries to "rap" with the youth on their level. This was tweeted from the 68-year-old grandmother's Twitter account:

Twitter

Despite emojis being a hip and now thing, Clinton's tweet asking people to sum up a staggering student debt problem with little pictures was not well received. Besides, the obvious answer is a saxophone by an eggplant going into a peach -- the universal symbol of Sallie Mae putting on some romantic music before fucking you in the ass.

The responses were, like most things on the internet, a solid mix of condescending and aggressive. Also, there were shockingly few emojis.

Twitter

Twitter

Twitter
There was a bit of grammar Nazi thrown in there too.

When you assume your entire voter-base consists of cellphone-addicted idiots, things like this happen. The same thing happened when Chevrolet rolled out their new Chevy Cruze. To show that it was absolutely "millennial friendly," they demanded a group of actors pretending to be focus testers give their thoughts on the car in the form of emojis.

How fun, right!? It's like a puzzle, only backward and pointless! By the time a supposed focus group member tweets a pink unicorn and exclaims, "It's magical!" you realize that anyone taken in by this probably should not be allowed to drive.

Chevrolet
"OK, I see a lot of you are just hitting the poop button over and over. Which is exactly
what my teenage son said would happen when I ran this idea by the dinner table."

7
Hipster Jesus

Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

When you hear "hipster," what do you think of? White, upper-class, 20-something with skinny jeans? Stupid mustaches? Jazz fans in the 1940s? The only thing we can all agree on is that hipsterism is hard to define, and everyone hates it. Wouldn't it be great if someone could give a clear, maybe even infallible definition of hipster?

As luck would have it, the Diocese Catholic church has sort of done exactly that with this almost aggressively strange ad featuring hipster Jesus.

As part of their youth initiative, they've erected these billboards across Brooklyn in hopes that some hipster will look up from Instagram long enough to accept Christ into their ironic, Pabst Blue Ribbon-fueled heart.

Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn
I say unto you, bro, man shall not live by tubular alone.

Despite their direct line to the being who knows everything and makes all the rules, we're not so sure the Catholic church is an authority on hipsters. Of all the ill-defined symbols of hipsterism, why go with untied sneakers? That's more like a mild symbol of diet teen rebellion in the 1950s. If this wasn't exactly what happened, we'd probably joke, "It's like something the world's squarest church would use to appeal to their vague notion of young people." If they really wanted a hipster, why not have Jesus listening to The Lumineers on vinyl or holding a Bible made out of recycled bike tires? Did this church do any research at all? Those are probably the top autocompletes when you type in "Hipster Jesus would totally ..."

This also doesn't really fit any message of Christ. Sure, Jesus was a hipster in the sense that he had a beard and was crucified before it was cool, but (as of press time) hipsters are all about non-trendy fashion, esoteric music, and squeezing into size 4 women's jeans. Those are all things Jesus didn't seem very interested in. All the church managed to do with this ad was to insult the intelligence of its audience, muddy its own god's message, and fundamentally misunderstand everything about the subject being discussed. It's insane to imagine an organized religion acting in such a way.

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6
Kellogg's Streetwear Ft. H0n3y Smalls And DJ Tony T

Under The Hood

For a lot of kids, it didn't matter which cereal tasted better -- breakfast decisions were made over which cereal had the best mascot. Generic knockoff cereals were for asshole children who will one day grow up to murder hitchhikers. Any behavioral psychologist can tell you that if your cereal came in a bag, you're remembering it from prison. The rest of us had iconic, lovable Kellogg's characters like Tony The Tiger, Toucan Sam, and the Rice Krispies elves. Their cereals tasted the same as all the other wads of corn syrup and food dye, but seeing their cartoon faces on the box was evidence our parents loved us.

So how does a cereal titan repay your long years of blind consumer loyalty? By cashing in on some of that sweet nostalgia with a streetwear clothing lineup featuring all of your childhood pals. We hope you're ready for how dope and fly shit is about to get.

Under The Hood
The perfect outfit to say "I was recently turned into an adult by a magical carnival machine."

Obviously, these are train wrecks of fashion. They seem like they were designed by a dying child who contacted Make-A-Wish and told them their dream was to make the entire world just a little bit less cool. But, honestly, how weird would it have been if they were well-received? It's a company started by a man who told parents to watch their children masturbate making urban wear for people who love Snap, Crackle, and Pop so much they're willing to lose all social currency over it.

Under The Hood
What's got two thumbs and is required by law to live more than 500 yards from schools and parks?

Look at it. These are saggy jeans with cereal elves leering from the back pocket. Those jeans were designed by someone outrageously out of touch with the world, or a mad genius looking to test the limits of human bullying.

There was so little interest in the product line, the website that sold them -- called, sigh, UnderTheHood.com -- was sold off to a company that sells actual car hoods (unlucky collectors of stupid shit can still find them on eBay).

Under The Hood
This image of a man pointing to his asshole from a shirt that says "Follow Your Nose(TM)" presented without comment.

5
Mashtags: Social Media ... Food?

Grocery Gems

There's a lot of evidence to suggest food is marketed exclusively by lunatics. For instance, a company named Birds Eye was trying to make their food-like potato shapes into an exciting product, and they somehow came up with something even more fake than the ingredients: Mashtags, the social media-shaped tater tots.

The Kernel
From the makers of InstaHam and Memesicles!

It's finally a food made with "REAL potatoes" that features random keyboard symbols and emojis! And while it's a great way to simulate how an illiterate person sees the world, it doesn't make much sense in any other context. Who are Mas#tags for!? Well, a company spokesperson explained, "The addition of Mashtags to our food range is an exciting development for Birds Eye. Social media is all about conversation, and we're confident Mashtags will resonate across various groups of people."

It sounds insane, and yet here we are, a various group of people, talking about it.

The Kernel
This was the last conversation between Alex and Dad before each of them tweeted
"#Can'tLiveWithMyself #MadeWithRealPotato #bang #byedead @now."

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4
The Oxford English Dictionary's "Word" Of The Year Is Emoji

Oxford University Press

While the internet and marketing executives flail around with a never-ending barrage of half-understood memes and rehashed jokes, we can always count on academics to maintain a higher standard of communication. After all, someone has to keep track of the rules of grammar while the rest of us communicate with pictures of dicks and sad faces. Unfortunately, not even the academics in charge of the Oxford English Dictionary could resist the pull of these infantile trends. And last year, the authority on words announced their word of the year wouldn't be a word at all but an emoji -- the academic equivalent of naming your state bird the middle finger.

Oxford University Press
"Next year, our word will be the sound of an armpit compressing on a wet hand!"

According to them, they chose to completely abandon words altogether because, "Emoji have come to embody a core aspect of living in a digital world that is visually driven, emotionally expressive, and obsessively immediate." In other words, we're one generation away from replacing our written alphabet with zoo animals and birthday cakes. Which, now that we think about it, sounds awesome.

Declaring a hysterical face as the word of the year seems like a uniquely stupid thing for a dictionary to do, but it turns out they've been doing this shit for years. Last year's word of the year was "vape" -- as in, what the word guys were doing instead of linguistics research. In 2012, the U.K. word of the year was "omnishambles," which sounds like a word used only by bold cheaters during Scrabble. In the U.S. it was "GIF," which was only slightly less dumb than their choice in 2009 -- "unfriend." It narrowly beat out other popular words from that year, like "sexting," "hashtag," "tramp stamp," and "Obamarama."

Wait, are they intentionally picking these so that people like us will give them free publicity by complaining about it? Those clever sons of bitches.

3
The Swagocalypse

Generic

"Hey, you know what the kids love these days? Swag! What is swag? Who gives a shit! Slap that word on our product; we've got money to make!"

For example -- remember those annoying hoverboards that didn't hover, lit on fire, and were so obnoxious they were pretty much banned in public places? Well they might be making a comeback. It takes a special kind of douchebag to be excited about this news, especially when you hear that they're made by a company called Swagway, and they're called Swagtrons. It's like a word you'd only say if you were born without a punchable face yet still wanted strangers to punch you.

Swagway
Holds up to one dickhead!

Aside from its terrible name, it functions the same, costs about the same, and looks the same as all of its other competitors. One major benefit, though, is that you get the company name emblazoned right on the front so you don't get bogged down with new friends. It's also close enough to patent infringement that it and the other hoverboard imitators have been outright banned. It turns out you can't get away with copying an existing product, renaming it for maximum unappeal, and then letting an Armenian club promoter decorate it.

Swagway
Thank God you can technically be arrested for riding one of these.

Hey, are you looking for the coolest way to remove acne? Try Swag Acne, you fucking piece of shit! It theoretically works just like regular zit cream, only it's more expensive. Looking this rad while you rub cream on a pimple comes at a premium. Or at least it would if the product hadn't been discontinued mostly everywhere. Man, it almost makes you wonder if there's a conspiracy to make sure zit-covered hoverboarders are considered uncool!

Walmart
Swag Acne, you'll be missed. Your chill burned too bright.

See, here's the problem. "Swag" is like "classy" or "fancy" in that it loses its intended meaning as soon as you apply it to something. The idea of a teenager having swag while they're in front of a mirror fussing over acne is so laughably ridiculous no one could ever top it. We mean, you'd have to ... we don't know, market a diaper toward "cool" babies to top it, and no one would ever do ... oh, shit.

Pampers
Check my swag, you saggy bitch!

Yes, Pampers created a line of swag diapers. So if you were battling to maintain "swag" as a usable word, it's over. You lost.

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2
PSAs Clumsily Use Memes To Get Through To America's Youth

The Ad Council

Our first example here comes from the second Democratic politician on the list. This may seem unfair, but it probably just comes down to the fact that Republicans tend to write off that whole demographic as a lost cause. Democrats have to do outreach, however, so you wind up with the Obama administration having to sell its healthcare plan like so:

Twitter/HHSGov
Oh, we just got the joke -- it's like that dog that says these things, only with healthcare words!

Yeah, the POTUS campaign used Doge to sell the youth on Obamacare. It's the kind of idea that should have gotten someone kicked out of a brainstorming meeting, and yet here we are looking at it. But hey, at least there's a recognizable mess there -- it's saying that healthcare is affordable and the people associated with it have no fucking idea how to make comedy. Both of those things are arguably good news. The same can't be said for the moronic nonsense in this PSA from Above The Influence:

The Ad Council
Umm ... Tits ... want to jerk off in butts? Tits no want to burn? Is that from the Bible or Shakespeare?

No, don't bother trying to puzzle it out -- you'll be here the rest of the day. It's supposed to say "I want to fit in, but I don't want to smoke," which seems like a lot of puzzle to solve for a gentle anti-drug message. One might argue it's not even worth the trouble and whatever insecure teetotaler wrote this message should have considered using regular language and not a rough draft for a Classic Concentration puzzle.

And while both of those examples took simple messages and added pointlessly obnoxious whimsy, the Truth campaign decided to go full cringe with an anti-smoking ad. They made a video featuring a tsunami of memes telling vulnerable teenagers that when they're offered a drink, "IT'S A TRAP!"

The Ad Council
Get it? Like from Star Wars and from cats!

1
Delta Airlines' Intolerable Meme Safety Video

Delta Air Lines

The job of an airline safety video is simple: to give passengers information on how to not die. Little jokes and songs add a bit of obnoxious torture to the experience, but we've come to expect them. What no one expected was for Delta Airlines to create an unhinged mashup of every internet meme they could remember. If you have even a remedial sense of humor, every cold ember of hate within you will ignite when you watch their meme-filled safety video.

The appeal of memes is that they sort of feel like an inside joke, even if millions of people are in on them. Nothing removes this feeling of community like a corporate safety video trying to horn in on it. If Delta Airlines walked into a Snoop Dogg show and shouted, "Marijuana weed, am I right!?" it would be better received than this reckless stab at pop cultural relevance.

Delta Air Lines
"so comedy. much creativi- You know what, can we not do this? This shit is going to seem like
goddamn 'Where's the beef?' by the time our passengers see it."

The video features Doge, Nyan-Cat, Annoying Orange, Keyboard cat, and basically any other meme someone with a passing interest in the internet could name several years ago. For the younger passengers, it's a shameless attempt at pandering that taints any love they had for the subject matter. For the older passengers, it's an assault of bizarre shapes and words sharing no meaning. It couldn't have failed such a diverse array of intended audience members any harder if it was the Warcraft movie.

For more things brands should've probably not done, check out The 5 Most Disastrous Marketing Failures Of All Time and The 6 Most Insanely Misguided Attempts At Viral Marketing.

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