Damn, Steak-umm, go off
Brand Twitter is often insufferable, whether it’s because a Vita Coco employee peed in a jar for social media clout, or the very existence of Baby Nut. Steak-umm, the sliced frozen steak company, has been a mainstay of brand Twitter for awhile now, with Nathan Allebach, Steak-umm’s social media manager, even writing an entire history of the existential humor common on brand Twitter and “brands making metacommentary as anti-marketing” for Vulture. Well, last night, Steak-umm reached a whole new level of brand awareness as the account started tweeting about media literacy and data.
friendly reminder in times of uncertainty and misinformation: anecdotes are not data. (good) data is carefully measured and collected information based on a range of subject-dependent factors, including, but not limited to, controlled variables, meta-analysis, and randomization— Steak-umm (@steak_umm) April 7, 2020
In a thread, the company warned against sensationalist reporting around the COVID-19 pandemic, and how politicians and brands can manipulate data for their own ends. “[I]t can be difficult to know what to believe in a time when institutional trust is diminished and the gatekeepers of information have been dismantled,” the brand wrote, “but it’s more crucial now than ever before to follow a range of credentialed sources for both breaking news and data collection.” And of course, it provided metacommentary on how weird it was for Steak-umm to be the bearer of such truths.
we're a frozen meat brand posting ads inevitably made to misdirect people and generate sales, so this is peak irony, but hey we live in a society so please make informed decisions to the best of your ability and don't let anecdotes dictate your worldview ok— Steak-umm (@steak_umm) April 7, 2020
Praising brands for being “responsible,” already a word with conflicting definitions, is like praising politicians for voting. It’s an incredibly low bar to clear, and it comes with the stinging knowledge that any time they do something “good” it functions to be at least a bit self serving. You maybe think higher of Steak-umm today than you did yesterday. Or maybe you’re thinking of them, period. For the brands, that’s a win. Though who knows? In a couple days, Steak-umm might be out here on Twitter, itself explaining this weird relationship between advertiser and buyer. Steak-umm bless.
And in other news...
- Beyond Meat announced a new initiative in which it will “donate and distribute more than 1 million Beyond Burgers over 30 days.” People can nominate causes for donation, and the company has already donated Beyond Meat to food banks and hospitals. [Beyond Meat]
- The new Paycheck Protection Program is aimed at “small businesses,” defined as those with 500 or fewer employees. But thanks to an exemption which focuses on unit size and not company size, hotel chains and chain restaurants can qualify, which has some small restaurant owners nervous. [WSJ]
- Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is stepping in to encourage banks to lend to smaller companies like restaurants through PPP. [NY Times]
- Chick-fil-A is adding handwashing stations to its drive-thru. [NRN]
- Some food trucks are pivoting to grocery delivery. [RH]
- School districts are feeding more people than local food banks in some areas. [Civil Eats]
- TGI Friday’s was going to go public, but those plans are on hold after an investment company backed out of the merger. [RBO]
- Area Xenophobe Never Heard Of Indian Food, Shocked People Like Sushi:
The most popular uber eats orders in Oklahoma is spicy tuna roll and in both Missouri and Wisconsin crag Rangoon? California is chicken tikka masala? I don't even know what that is beyond the chicken. If true, we have an outbreak of the panpompous. https://t.co/42bRnUQTD0— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) April 6, 2020