Applebee’s Mocks Social Media Users In An Attempt To Go Viral On Social Media

applebees-logoOf all the ways to go viral, Applebee’s has chosen to make fun of the very people it wants to spread its message: social media users.

Last week, the company launched a campaign that revolves around, which redirects to a Tumblr at, and includes three videos that mock mommy bloggers, Twitter users and Pinterest users.

The whole idea seems to be that, if you’re going to share, it’s better to do it face-to-face. At an Applebee’s restaurant. And, if you’re sharing on social media, you’re pretty much a loser. That’s what I get out of watching the videos, but you can judge for yourself:

The Roost

Tweet Beat


Is the campaign working?

A spokesperson for the marketing agency that worked on the campaign told MediaBistro last week that it’s been so-so.

We launched yesterday and so far the reviews are mixed. Some good and some bad. It’s been described as ‘brilliant.’ It’s been described as ‘hilarious.’ It’s been described as ‘condescending.’ It’s been described as ‘Applebee’s thinks women need to get offline.’ I guess that’s what happens when you use social media to poke a little fun at social media.

I don’t know. I tend to think it’s fine to use social media poke fun at social media … as long as it’s funny. I’m guessing that many people aren’t LOLing at Applebee’s campaign.

[Ed. note: This story was edited after Applebees removed its original videos from YouTube. The same videos were embedded from a user account on Vimeo.]

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Pinterest | Social Media Marketing | Twitter


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Marketing Weekly

    It wouldn’t bother me if it was actually funny…

    Good idea, poor execution.

  • Danny Schotthoefer

    I found it annoying. “FOR SERIOUSLY!”? Do people actually say that? Also, I may not be the target as I can honestly say, I never eat at Applebee’s nor do I have a desire to do so.

  • Meredith Nunnally

    LOL…I think it’s borderline. Some of it was funny, some overdone. Good idea, though. 

  • Matt McGee

    That’s kinda how I feel. It could’ve been funny, but really wasn’t.

  • Matt McGee

    You’re definitely not the target, Danny. They’re going after the female audience with this one, it would appear.

  • dbrazeal

    I’m with you, Matt. I didn’t think it was remotely funny.

  • Aaron Douglas

    Perhaps that was intentional – I’m not an Applebee-ologist, but anecdotal data (i.e. my inlaws) suggests they are reflecting the perception of their target demographic (particularly in the Midwest and various “-belt” regions). 

  • Dennis Gaskill

    I’m pretty neutral on the actual ads, but what I found annoying was the big jump in volume when the “girl’s night out goddess” bursts into the video. That alone makes it a “fail” to me, and I like Applebee’s.

  • Matt McGee

    I agree, Dennis – the audio is very poorly done.

  • JadedTLC

    This was insulting as a woman. It also is disconnected to life as we know it. Many people actually use social media in face to face places. (Parties, restaurants, etc. not just at home in yoga pants). Dear Applebee’s (where I have eaten before) are you really that slow about mobile, which is where most of the social media is growing?

    Love A woman who does not fit into your demographic.
    At all.

    FAIL. Pure Fail.

  • tonicarr

    Afterall it is Applebee’s. Product comes first and in my humble opinion there’s is not the best.

  • Alesia Krush

    I think, with “for seriously” they probably tried to copy McDonald’s and do something like  ”I’m loving it”. That lady is a bit annoying, actually, she speaks as if in slow motion. Yeah, the idea is OK, but they blew it.  

  • Heather Turner

    If women were the target demographic, be more interesting if it was actually funny instead of just lame and annoying.

  • Patrick Maness

    I like the concept, and I like that they went out on a limb a little bit. Funny can be subjective. I didn’t think it was that funny, but I appreciated the effort made. I also realize that I’m not the intended target, so there’s that. I can also appreciate the fact that we’re all talking about it, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding whether this campaign was a win or a loss. 

    What I don’t get is the backlash of, “how dare you patronize me for using social media!” If you were that offended, maybe the truth hurts a little bit. Otherwise, why can’t you just laugh at it? It’s clearly meant in good fun because this clearly isn’t a campaign to be taken that seriously. If you can’t laugh at yourself, what’s the use? Again, I’m not a woman, so I fully accept the fact that my opinion means nothing.

    What might have made the execution a little better and giving it a little more credibility (if that were even possible) is if they used real social media experts. If the real social media experts can laugh at themselves (and I know for a fact they can), it might have softened the blow.  If the agency tried and were turned down, that should have told them something, too.     

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