How Steak-umm Became The Tweeting Voice Of Reason In A Pandemic

from the content-is-advertising dept

Many, many years ago I wrote about the importance of recognizing that content is advertising and advertising is content. A key point I was making was that these were not redundant. Good advertising should be good content to make people happy to see it. But also, any kind of good content can be good advertising for something else. I was reminded of this last week after seeing the Twitter account of Steak-umm suddenly become one of the best Twitter accounts to follow during the pandemic. To be honest, my last experience with Steam-umm, the frozen meat company, probably goes back to watching a commercial like this in 1982:

Those commercials were on all the time when I was a kid, but I don't think I ever got to experience the actual joy (?!?) of eating a Steak-umm. And for that we can blame my parents. However, perhaps I'll now give Steak-umm a shot, since watching its Twitter account actually become "the voice of reason in a pandemic."

It started on April 6th with a pretty damn good tweet thread about not falling for anecdotal reports, and looking for thoughtful, detailed studies:

I mean, even that self-aware final tweet is kind of pitch perfect for this kind of thing. Apparently the person behind all this is Nathan Allebach, who runs a communications shop that manages Steak-umm's feed and decided he'd had enough of all the misinformation he was seeing. According to an interview he gave Fast Company:

“It was more just a cumulative effect of me having a job to spend every moment on social, seeing a constant flow of information, and a lot of it wasn’t good information,” says Nathan Allebach of the agency Allebach Communications, who has been the human behind Steak-Umm’s social media since 2015. Despite the thread being posted at 10 p.m., Allebach says it wasn’t prompted by a specific moment or piece of news. “I know we’re in this state of panic, and heightened cultural anxiety, so people aren’t at their best all the time, thinking about where they’re getting their information.”

He's since followed it up with a few other somewhat philosophical threads on all of this -- including opining on the nature of its own tweets going viral:

Then there was another long thread on the difference between "experts" and "communicators" allowing factual information to be "spun."

And then another long thread about why people believe in conspiracy theories and how to respond to those believers:

It is fantastic content -- whether or not it sells any frozen meat. And even Steak-umm seems to recognize this:

As is pretty much always the case, what's amazing about this and what's catching people's attention is not just the fact that a frozen sliced meat company is tweeting about these things, but that it's doing so earnestly, even while clearly recognizing the absurdity of it being the sudden tweeting fountain of wisdom. But that's actually really important. In a time when cynicism, irony, and just everyday sarcasm seem to be the way plenty of people are dealing with this new incredibly uncertain age, having a bit of calm (if slightly tongue-in-cheek) earnestness is truly welcome. And if it helps sell more frozen meat, why, that would probably be a nice side benefit for the company.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: advertising is content, content is advertising, covid-19, frozen meat, nathan allebach, native content, steak-umm
Companies: allebach communications, steak-umm, twitter


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  1. identicon
    ROGS, 15 Apr 2020 @ 7:50am

    Re: might just have to try some of that...

    Nothing new in dumbing AMerican kids down-its on of the steps to owning the "machinery" under the Hegelian paradigm.

    Right and left wing educators actually agree that his is a problem, and even radical lesbian, long time Democrat scholars too:

    Prof. Camille Paglia on today's stdents:

    "They have no sense whatever of the destruction, of the great civilizations that rose and fell, and so on – and how arrogant people get when they’re in a comfortable civilization. They now have been taught to look around them to see defects in America – which is the freest country in the history of the world"

    https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/paglia-dumbing-down-america-began-public-sch ools/


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat

Warning: include(/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/pear:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/..') in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.