HYPERSTITIONAL BRAND ENTITIES: WENDY’S IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.
Prior to the dawn of dark-cybernetic entities hell-bent on enslaving the human race, we are witnessing the rise of brands as entities. Abstract consumerist veils taking on personalities to shadow their inner hunger for capital. Twitter accounts controlled by workers, click-farmers and cyber-proles are becoming characters in an economic play, a production of which they have immediate control. The Wendy’s Twitter is not a beacon of light, in fact it’s the furthest from light, it is a dark accelerative force towards ‘brand as reality’.
Brands having personalities, or human characteristics is hardly a new idea: McDmconalds with it’s golden arches and – now somewhat stained – Ronald McDonald, Burger King with The King and it’s over-the-top naming devices and KFC with the Colonel. This however does continue into regular, non-sentient characteristics, such as ‘smoothness’ for body products, or ‘refreshing’ for beer etc. yet, until around 1-2 years ago, no brand had really come alive. The advent of ‘meme marketing’ will act as a potent catalyst in the accelerative process of brand hyperstition.
“hyperstitions act as catalysts, engendering further (and faster) change and subversion. Describing the effect of very real cultural anxieties about the future, hyperstitions refer to exponentially accelerating social transformations.
Hype actually makes things happen and uses belief as a positive power. Just because it’s not ‘real’ now, doesn’t mean it won’t be real at some point in the future. And once it’s real, in a sense, it’s always been” – Hyperstition
Wendy’s Twitter ‘sass’ and ‘personality’ acted as a sharp ‘relevance’ kick for other consumer brands, it put forth the question of their position in the current economy, how are they going to act…these other personalities? For them to retaliate is to accept their existence, speak and reply, or die.
For one thing, taking on board the idea of using memes and contemporary net-culture as a means of promoting your business/brand is a risky move, there has been numerous cases where brands have attempted to utilize a meme for brand advancement, only to be laughed, retweeted and quoted out of the room by a gaggle of millennials, ready and willing at a moments notice to ridicule an intrusion into their culture; a culture which by all accounts is excessively fast paced and fragile, a repeated image can last from hours to years, a saying or piece of slang used effectively could boost sales or merely get a snigger.
But what of this decision for other brands? Brands which had existed for years as ‘established’ professionals of the economy. The question put forth was whether or not big-business wanted to descend to the level of its consumer? Would it be wise for them to mingle into the crowd they advertised to and for. There seemed to be the act of stepping down from a pedestal. Yet this is entirely untrue. In their decision to reply the brands took up the trident of temporal awakening and bent it to their will, instead of death via cultural stasis within an ever accelerating structure, the entities decided to animate and take their place at the Twitter table.
Making the decision to reply is an irreversible step, the process has begun; classic ‘2-dimensional characters’ shall be no more, they offer nothing but an immovable script (stuck at some point in the 80’s) awakened brand-entities offer a consumerist friendship, a level of trust. Instead of organising a McDonald’s birthday party for ya boy’s 5th bday, why not just DM Ronald. M. at 3am in the midst of a tick-binge; publically call The Colonel a shit-eater after he delivers you a chicken-bucket with a piece missing; riff with Wendy till the early hours because the only semblance of warmth that exists in your life is that of your laptop screen.
“capitalism incarnates hyperstitional dynamics at an unprecedented and unsurpassable level of intensity, turning mundane economic ‘speculation’ into an effective world-historical force” – Nick Land
“illusions – if people believe in them -change the course of history.” – Fernández-Armesto, Civilizations
— Katy Wellhousen (@KatyWellhousen) January 3, 2017
“What makes Brown’s responses so boss is the fact that they don’t sound robotic…the team creates personalized, thought-provokingly witty responses that sound like they came from your sassy best friend.” – Mashable
That first sentence in itself is terrifying enough, “they don’t sound robotic”, not that the 8 year old pig tailed girl was ever meant to be a robot, no, only that, one is conversing with a Twitter account, something has emerged, something has become real. People will say “Did you see Wendy’s on Twitter last night…damn.” Gone are the days of brand suspicion, the days of understanding that a company isn’t there for you, it’s there for you.
— Brittany Guernsey (@bguerns13) January 22, 2016
Wendy’s is allowing existence of other brands: Either come alive, or die in a regressive pit of 80’s slogans and non-immediacy. Wendy’s has tapped in to the main artery of the attention economy, immediate feedback from an abstract entity via your phone; thus one could begin to really feel as if it were a friend they were simply texting. The rise of brand-entities, public discussions between The King and Ronald, a bare-knuckle meme fight in a Little Chef carpark, Hardee’s blocks Wendy’s from its feed due to public humiliation, insult after insult, ‘burn’ after ‘burn’ all accumulating in a hyperstitional consumerist brand-entity arising from the past, where it has always been, and as such finds its assimilation into human society that much easier – “Wah you mea’ man, Wendy’s alway been aroun’!”
That’s her over yonder, where she resides, Wendy, queen of the Curve. The 8 year old auburn pig-tailed cyber-behemoth, she’s been around for centuries, a neolithic brand. A faint giggle clicks off the horizon as you pull your phone from your pocket, a dozen discussions amassed in seconds upon seconds on your feed, brands, apps, old friends, dead-brands, software, bots, all discussing the news: RATS HEAD FOUND IN BURGERJOINT the title says, pun after pun, quip after quip, the discussion rotates between brands, a cyber-dopamine addled fight for retweets and likes.
Let me repeat, Wendy is not your friend, Wendy’s Twitter page is not your friend, whether or not what is or is not controlling them is witty, it’s all programmed, whether it comes in an instant or not, it is lacking authenticity in every sense. Dragging itself from economic insecurity via a deconstruction of that which surrounds it; taking hold of cyber-culture and molding it towards a malicious end. An end from which comes the customer’s demise, you’re car will be making fun of you as drive down a state-sponsored highway, the date and time blocked from view…”Where shall we eat tonight hun?”
“I don’t know darling, somewhere that hasn’t publicly called me a cunt would be nice.”