The rise of Fast Food Twitter

Posted 30 September 2021 by Audrey Legris in News

The rise of Fast Food Twitter, one of the internet’s strangest phenomenons. Let me explain myself…

We have to start by defining a couple of relevant slang terms, with some help from Urban Dictionary.

Beef: “To have a grudge or start one with another person,” which happens very, very often on the wonderful world wide web.

Clapbacks: “Basically a comeback, most likely pumped with attitude, sass and or shade.”

Roast: “To tell someone off with a bad ass comeback.”

Now that that’s out of the way, what is Fast Food Twitter? Large Fast Food corporations – Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell – flocking to Twitter, claiming it as their very own marketing territory. They’ve found their niche, and they’re thriving. Their success can be attributed to the fact that they’ve become social media personalities instead of brands. They do so by starting virtual beefs, responding to various tweets with “epic clapbacks”  and by roasting everybody and anybody that dares come their way. They mirror their target audience, which is – yup, you guessed it – the youngsters.

Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Although entertaining, these sometimes make me uncomfortable. It seems as though these tweets are the result of carefully crafted corporate greed. Sarah Z expressed this best in her video, The Late Capitalism of Fast Food Twitter:

“Generally speaking, I think it’s fair to say that any cultural shift which makes it harder for people to criticize the actions of big companies is probably not great. But why does the personification of these companies as cool people in your life specifically suck? Well, for one thing, we already know that this kind of advertising allows consumers to create distinct personalities for these companies. And we know that this means they’re viewed less as massive, powerful entities composed of thousands of people, and more as one sole, sentient individual.”

And that’s where the issue lies: this phenomenon doubles as a veil that distracts from bigger, ethical issues when it comes to fast food. Yes, Wendy’s said something quirky on Twitter, but that doesn’t change how they’re profiting from farmworker poverty.

As always, we must practice critical thinking and do our research. As an advertising agency, it’s our job to help our clients navigate social media while maintaining their authenticity, and brand essence. Twitter, Instagram and others remain very valuable tools in the long run, if used wisely.