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Vaseline gets down and dirty with suggestive, forward tweets.
The worst thing to happen to Twitter is brands seeing the social-media platform as an opportunity to engage with potential customers. Look no further than the beef of the summer between Drake and Meek Mill, when brands like Whataburger and Rosetta Stone capitalized on the celebrity feud to push products.
Brands are at it again. This time it’s the seemingly innocuous Unilever property, Vaseline, trying to slip into unsuspecting DMs. On Monday more than 20 consecutive @VaselineBrand tweets creepily offered free “packages” to everyone and anyone tweeting about dry skin.
Bare witness below:
@Taliacedb We know what you mean, Natalia! We have a gift for you to keep your hands hydrated. Can you DM us?
— Vaseline (@VaselineBrand) November 24, 2015
Are you seeing what we’re seeing—the smiley faces, exclamation marks, discussion of “hydration?” If there is one thing clear, it’s that Vaseline has taken on the persona of a desert-thirsty, middle-aged man just looking to get it moist. We could look past all these sexual innuendos if it weren’t for the fact that these solicitations were completely unprovoked.
As seen below, in most cases, no user mentioned @VaselineBrand, they just simply mentioned having “cracked” or “dry” skin.
Perhaps this was just a poorly coded bot? Or, we think, just a total skeez running the handle. Here @_Hermit_Thrush discusses his inability to masturbate because his genitals are too dry:
Free speech is protected under the U.S. Constitution, but there is otherwise no reason to share or acknowledge this statement. Yet, Vaseline chooses to send this man some lube… to grease up his genitals! This is not the wholesome brand messaging that Vaseline has worked so hard to build. Nay, it’s one brand being overcome by horniness and reacting impulsively to temptation.
On the one hand, we can rejoice that Vaseline is sharing its useful product with the masses for free. We for one would love to get free lotion—our skin is rather chaffed right now. Then again integrity is a lot to sacrifice for the cheap thrills of retweets and self-promotion.
Photo via Ryan Brunsvold/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Ziwe Fumudoh is a writer and comedian. Her work has appeared in the Onion and Reductress, and she is a co-host at Crooked Media.