There have been so many missteps with brands in this social media age and with screenshots no mistake will truly disappear.
The goal for bigger brands building a social media presence is to show they’re in tune with the culture.
This sometimes happens at the expense of young creatives.
We’ve seen time and time again when a trend begins, a new dance emerges or slang crosses regions that instead of empower those who create culture brands would rather co-op and steal.
Instead of just retweeting or readily ignoring the originators brands who love the attention & money that our culture brings should employ and build with those who create those moments for them.
Sit dat ass down pls sir/ma’am > RT “@IHOP: I ain’t got no type. Pancakes are the only thing that I like.”
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) March 11, 2015
Corporations like Taco Bell or Burger King in the past have tweeted using the latest slang but it came off as inauthentic and corny cheapening the integrity of a movement.
But there have been brands who have recognized the talent that these influencers have, especially Black & Brown creatives and teamed up to create creative and original content to advertise to their fan base.
— Darius Benson (@MrLegenDarius) January 5, 2017
— Reg to the E! (@ReggieCOUZ) December 5, 2016
While I personally feel Hamburger Helper’s Twitter is the best at engaging with fans of the character Lefty.
I’ve also felt they were appropriating from the culture, jocking our slang & making struggle raps.
But it has made partnerships with creatives and reached out to leaders from social media.
For Lefty’s mixtape ‘Watch The Stove’ Hamburger Helper tapped Niles Stewart b.k.a Nileseyy Niles or Retro Spectro from Lean Squad to create an anthem for it’s brand.
This shows growth from even a couple years ago were while Katy Perry & Miley Cyrus was appropriating Black culture brands were outright stealing and not even paying homage to creatives.
Notice all of these corporations leaching off of hip hop culture for RTs and free promo.
— rell… (@_RELLDOT_) July 31, 2015
Better learn how to monetize content cause while you mad at charlamenge for using “Black twitter” white man snuck out wit a bag.
— Wayno (@Wayno119) July 31, 2015
While Burger King was screaming ‘WHAT ARE THOSE’ & iHop was declaring their pancakes were ‘on Fleek’ the actual creator of the word didn’t receive a dime from ‘fleek’.
Kayla Lewis a.k.a PeachesMonroee is now seeking trademark rights for the term & trying to monetize off the brand with a cosmetic hair line but not before Nicki Minaj tried to check Christina Milian for selling ‘Pretty on Fleek’ t-shirts. Not even to defend Peaches but to assert she was waiting on her cut because of a using the term in a song.
Compare this to Damn Daniel guys. They were on Ellen where he received a lifetime of Vans and starred in a phone commercial.
The commercial itself furthered the different in respect giving to Black creators and Whites. It had Black men being used basically as props singing R&B as the boys walked by.
But it’s not all bad. Tokyo Vanity took a vine cheering her best friend and made a song complete with a music video. Xavier Burgin’s is funding his own projects and having meeting with Sony executives.
DJ Akademiks went from creating a platform on YouTube to hosting hip hop’s First Take on Complex.
Desus and Mero went from having being in education to building a following on Twitter then Complex & on podcasts and now has over 100 episodes of their show on VICELAND.
Nick Joseph & Dan Rue didn’t just settle for a retweet from brands like Whataburger but created merch for their brand complete with ‘Oh Baby What Are You Doing?’ dad hats.
Lilly Singh, better known as Superwoman, is an Indian American content creator on YouTube who turned comedic videos & dressing up as her parents to becoming a best selling author and featured on Forbes.
And this week Isaiah Xavier’s Musical.ly video went viral. This young man’s editing skills and directing was A-1. Unlike other users who just reposted it, Matthew Cherry after finding out who he was encouraged the next generation and the thread exploded.
Similar to Lupita & Rihanna’s CA$HING IN started from a Tumblr repost #FilmTwitter responded.
Creatives like Cherry himself is searching for opportunities and Franklin Leonard is volunteering to help.
Director of the next Star Wars:
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 18, 2017
The $100M man Jordan Peele:
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) May 18, 2017
And as Matthew Cherry asserted there are so many avenues this next generation of creatives can take not just in front of the screen but behind the scenes as cinematographers, video editors, music supervisors, etc.
Everyone has the power to creator with the power of a camera in the phone and free apps to build a platform.
If you know that Twitter can bring u opportunity – especially as someone in media – why do you treat it like your personal dumping grounds?
— Melissa Kimble (@Melissa_Kimble) May 19, 2017