The Social Media Insult: Why I Won’t Be Watching Friends With Benefits #FWB

Friends with Benefits

It’s not the actors. It’s not the premise. Using YouTube as a primary marketing machine was brilliant and was the reason that I was exploring the movie in the first place (I’m not a comedy-watcher, even though I have did play one on a television drama once).

In my exploration of the marketing techniques that I the movie was using, I came across the video below and was appalled. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t like it when “entities with a voice” such as corporations, celebrities, and movies use their platform to spread insincere messages. This was meant to be humorous and not to be taken seriously, but it struck a cord.

A negative one.

Here’s how I rank my preferred uses of social media “power” by the aforementioned entities:

  1. Best Case Scenario: Lock onto a cause and truly, sincerely take action and make an effort to spread the news. Ashton Kutcher’s Real Men Don’t Buy Girls campaign is an example of this. While I don’t necessarily agree with the tactics or techniques, there’s no questioning the sincerity or effort. Social media win!
  2. Acceptable Use of Power: Combine social media and charitable goals to put out messages and help with brand awareness, public relations, and marketing. While the motivations aren’t 100% altruistic, the results are often there and can be seen as positive.
  3. Not Good, But Not Awful: Do nothing. If you have a voice and you aren’t going to use it for good, don’t use it to make fun of the PSA concept, either. Just be yourself. Others will do good.
  4. Bad Enough to Keep Me From Watching a Movie: When you make a mockery of the power and promotional abilities associated with celebrity-driven public service announcements, you end up on my “No Watch List.” Not only did they make the video, they also had the gall to ask people to share it. Insulted.

This is not an attack on the actors. Both are smart and do good things in the world. The marketing executive who came up with the concept – please rethink it next time. Here’s the video:

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