Brands jump on latest social meme: sarcastic polls

A new social media trend has brands talking: sarcastic polls.

Last week, people were spotted tweeting memes that put a humorous spin on personal dating ads. In the majority of these, people poke fun at themselves about what they are searching for. Instead of a man seeking a woman, for instance, one tweeter had a student seeking a parking spot.

It wasn’t long before brands including Denny’s, Totino’s and Penguin Books glommed on:

Denny’s posted its own version August 22. “We are always looking both online and offline for those popular trending stories and topics that have all of America talking, those fun moments that allow us to naturally join in the conversation with Denny’s unique and genuine brand voice,” said John Dillon, CMO at Denny’s.

When a brand interjects itself into popular culture, however, it can become the ultimate buzzkill for some. While the majority of consumer responses to Denny’s tweet were positive, one tweeter posted her own snarky response: “I am a restaurant, seeking customers.”

And when too many brands jump on the bandwagon at the same time, followers notice. Competing diner IHOP posted its own sarcastic meme the same minute as Denny’s. Within four minutes, a tweeter shared a photo of his feed showing IHOP’s tweet directly after Denny’s.

But brands have seen high engagement when they participate in social media trends. MoonPie, a snack brand with only 14,000 followers on Twitter, got more than 31,900 retweets and 141,000 likes on its poll meme below. And in more than 570 comments, people showed their admiration for the brand and shared their own silly takes on the meme. The brand wasn’t shy about making fun of capitalizing on the trend. “Way too many people were doing the same thing,” said Patrick Wells, a social media creative at agency Tombras Group, who produced the tweet for MoonPie, “so I just decided to make fun of it all. I think most people found it refreshing.”

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