Have you ever seen a microwave commercial?

Recently, this TikTok video went viral with 6.4 million views: When you suddenly realize you’ve never seen a microwave commercial. It worked on several levels, but two questions emerged: Have you never seen a microwave commercial because you’re too young? Or, have you never seen a microwave commercial because they don’t need to advertise anymore?

The answer to both questions is yes.

Thankfully, the universe provides us comfort with this nostalgic throwback: 1983 Panasonic Microwave Oven Commercial. You gotta love the modest tagline, “Just slightly ahead of our time.” Better to lower expectations from the beginning so you can’t disappoint later.

However, it’s interesting to consider why we don’t see many microwave commercials today; whereas, we still see plenty of refrigerator, washer, and dryer ads. Perhaps microwave technology hasn’t evolved as dramatically to offer features so unique that brands will advertise. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that marketers have the research to suggest a microwave ad spend isn’t going to yield results.

On the other hand, advertising for Coke is ubiquitous, even though every person on the planet has already decided if they’re team Coke or team Pepsi. We can’t escape ads for Rolex watches, even though most people on the planet can’t afford a Rolex. Big brands keep up the advertising barrage so that the next time we want a soda, Coke is top of mind, and if we ever have enough money for a luxury timepiece, we think Rolex.

Essentially, big brands like Apple, IBM, Starbucks, and Dunkin Donuts advertise to hold space, especially on social media. Name recognition drives their social media; however, for most content creators, their social media drives the business. This explains why big brands with huge followings actually have pretty weak social media engagement. It also explains why beauty influencer Michelle Phan consistently gets 10X the number of views as Gwenyth Paltrow’s Goop.

To stay “slightly ahead of our time” and on trend, we have to stop chasing decades-old marketing strategies. We have to understand the difference between brand driving social v. social driving biz.

When we do that, we can understand why we don’t see microwave commercials anymore and why TikToks about it get 6.4 million views.

You can learn more about how Hook Points can grow your business and brand and speak 1-on-1 with Brendan’s team here.

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