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In 2014, brands were saying Bae. In 2019, they’re “inciting violence.”

Playful jibe at a competitor or a sharp political statement? Either way, this month’s trend of milkshake sodden political figures has reached such notoriety that Burger King have tossed their golden crown into ring.

This past Friday the former UKIP leader Nigel Farage was addressing supporters at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, in preventative measures brought on by recent events, Police Scotland requested a nearby McDonald’s not sell any milkshake or McFlurrys. A photograph of a sign notifying McDonald’s customers of the restriction was heavily shared on Twitter. Burger King saw an opportunity.

They had a message for Scotland in a tweet that gained them 111k likes and 20k retweets in just a few days. Their fast gained praise however was slowed in the wake of EDL Founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon and UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin being hit with milkshakes while out canvassing which saw Burger King accused of “inciting violence”. Evidently unshaken Burger King responded with the message “We’d never endorse violence – or wasting our delicious milkshakes!”

Irreverent, woke, and sassy social media accounts for brands across industries is on trend right now. Last month, Netflix told us to to stop calling movies ‘chick flicks’ as it is potentially insulting and minimizing. We all saw the Kendall Jenner Pepsi debacle which completely missed the mark with it’s insincerity. In 2017 a 16 year old in Nevada asked fast food chain Wendy’s how many retweets it would take for a year’s supply of chicken nuggets. The answer was 18 million. He didn’t quite make it – but his tweet did become the most retweeted ever, and that was good enough for Wendy’s. They’re also not at all afraid to beef with other brands.

There is a trend of wokeness in brand’s social presences, however we’re seeing more and more accusations of disingenuity – and Burger King may have endangered themselves. But on Monday, it was Five Guys who supplied the tasty projecticles. Nigel Farage was hit with a shake after giving a speech in Newcastle leading up to the European elections. On Tuesday, a man was charged with assault. While hundreds of thousands of engagements maybe seem irresistible, brands are perhaps better off sticking to lifetime supplies of chicken nuggets and leaving the milkshake missiles alone.

 

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