Olivia Pope is Changing the Game

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Written by: Aleira Martin

I have recently started watching Scandal, a television series, and I’ve never felt closer to a character like I’ve found myself to Olivia Pope. She is a black woman who dresses professionally with style, and she works in the PR world. In a short time of watching the show, I have started to aspire to be her.

Scandal is an American political thriller series. Olivia Pope is a crisis manager in Washington, D.C. who runs her own firm, Olivia Pope & Associates (OPA), that specializes in "fixing" political situations and scandals. Through this series, I have found an avenue of PR I want to learn more about and potentially work in.. I have heard of Crisis Management before but I’ve never really understood it or knew how it worked. Although this is all fictional, it gave me something to think about. I thought of many questions about this kind of crisis management work. How important is crisis management? How can it be used well in a career?

In today's world, anything and everything can be turned into a PR crisis. Recently, brands like Gucci, Prada, and Burberry's controversial designs have dealt with this. In a broad sense, Colin Kaepernick's career was destroyed by kneeling during the national anthem. Crisis management is becoming huge in the PR world.

According to PR Week, “[T]Here are five key principles to keep front and center as you confront this new reality:

Authenticity

Transparency

Speed

Agility

Creativity”

With news breaking events every second, I hope these tips are a reminder. Social media has changed the PR game, and crisis management is more important than ever.

https://www.prweek.com/article/1455625/5-principles-crisis-management-digital-age

Written by: Aleira Martin

Written by: Aleira Martin

Vlogging Has Changed The Advertising Market

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Written by: Kennedy Harrison

Over the course of about 100 years, people have watched the advertising sphere shift from medium to medium. First, it began with pamphlets and flyers, then to newspapers and radio. Towards the end of the first half of the 20th century, advertising was being prepped for a digital and technological format.

Advertising began to shift from the senses of touch and smell to sight and sound. The rise of radio and television opened an entirely new way to sell a brand or product.

Today, we see much more than just radio and television. One of the most popular forms of advertising is through social media. We are walking advertisements. We see someone famous wearing some pants, we want those pants. We see our favorite TV star quoting a passage from a book, we order the book on Amazon. In almost seconds, a brand can reach us directly, without having to spend billions on a billboard. Not only do they reach us faster, but it feels personal.

One of the most interesting forms of advertising I’ve experienced lately is vlogging. Much like normal blogging, vlogging is just as it sounds, video blogging. If you search YouTube and type in “blogger” or “vlogger,” thousands of videos appear: ranging from couples going on lavish vacations to famous mom bloggers giving diaper tips. Although this may sound as if every vlogger is unique and has entirely different motives for their own vlog, you begin to see a similar thread throughout them all. These vloggers are constantly advertising.

Whether in the end, the beginning, or threaded throughout, these vloggers shamelessly “plug” their sponsors effortlessly, as if it’s a natural part of their everyday experience. As a viewer who regularly watches YouTubers, I will admit that I rarely skip through these sponsored 30-second sections of my favorite vloggers. In fact, there have been several times when a vlogger has introduced me to a brand I have never heard before. And, almost every single vlogger does it and here’s why: this is how they make money. As I began researching how much these sponsorships pay famous YouTubers like Sarah Baska and Cody Ko, I was shocked by the results. Some of these better brands are paying $10,000 for every 100,000 views. So, for more famous YouTube sensations like Jess & Gabriel, they make near $100,000 for every video they post.

This change in advertising has shifted how advertisers approach how much they spend on billboards, magazine spreads, and Instagram ads. Sure, they can pay $1,000,000 for commercial spots on popular daytime television, but modern-day advertisers have begun to shift their focus towards this fascinating new medium called Vloggers.  

SOURCES:

https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/social-media-advertising/#what-are-the-benefits-of-advertising-on-social-media-channels

https://influencermarketinghub.com/how-much-do-youtubers-make/

https://millennialmoney.com/how-much-do-youtubers-make/



By: Kennedy Harrison

By: Kennedy Harrison

Skittles Broadway Super Bowl Commercial

Written by: Elise Oler

In the weeks before the Super Bowl, Skittles announced their unorthodox take on advertising for the coming game. They would be creating one of the most over the top Super Bowl commercials to date that would not air during the Super Bowl or broadcasted anywhere. This decision was made to combat one of the largest problems companies like Skittles face.

“People buy snacks for Super Bowl parties in the days leading up to the game, not during it.”

-Ari Weiss, DDB’s North American chief American creative officer

This leads to a rather large problem to solve. How does a company like Skittles create enough buzz before the Super Bowl to promote sales before the game? In order to battle the noise before the Super Bowl, Skittles would have to come up with a very unexpected commercial that could not be ignored. With that, the idea of Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical was conceptualized.

This musical commercial hybrid was designed with the full intent of not being aired or broadcasted. This leaves the only insight into the production to the teaser video or viewing the live performance at Town Hall. Skittles chose Michael C. Hall, best known for his performance as Dexter, to be the celebrity personality and the face of the production. The teaser video addresses his apprehensiveness to do a commercial, but this was far from any traditional commercial. The musical featured four songs within a thirty-minute time frame. The songs featured comedic commentary on advertising. Anyone who missed the performance can find the songs on Spotify.

Since this “commercial” is being hailed as not only an advertisement but also a work of commentary art, how does the Skittles method of advertising affect how this ad will be received and by who?

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By: Elise Oler

By: Elise Oler

The World Famous Egg Cracks

Written By: Eighmy Dobbins

Eugene the Egg, or better known as, “@world_record_egg” on Instagram, has become much more than the most liked picture in the world. The Egg has been in the spotlight since it was originally posted on January 4th, racking up 52.5 million likes and counting. The previous world record holder was Kylie Jenner, pictured with her baby Stormi, which received almost 19 million likes. The creator of Eugene the Egg is Chris Godfrey, an advertising creative from London. Godfrey said he chose the stock image egg because it was a universal symbol for people of all ages and backgrounds.

On January 18th, the Egg was posted again. This time, with a tiny crack shown. Later that week, multiple pictures were posted with the cracks getting larger. On February 1st, Eugene was posted with football laces and announced to his 10 million followers that the meaning of his cracks would be revealed on Hulu, following the Super Bowl. Fans speculated in the comments, claiming the Egg was going to pop out Kylie Jenner’s next baby or Tom Brady. Others immediately thought that Eugene was receiving his own documentary on Hulu. But no one predicted a mental health PSA. A one minute video premiered on Hulu Sunday night with Eugene claiming he has started to crack under the pressure of social media, and urged people to talk to someone if they are feeling the same. A link to talkingegg.info was posted below the video, which directs people to mental health foundations in their area.

The video blew up, and people loved seeing the account creator use his large platform to advocate for something much bigger than we expected. Godfrey claims Eugene’s rise to fame was all luck, saying, “mental health is the first of several causes that the Egg will come to stand for.” I am really excited to see what's next for Eugene because his platform could be an effective way to campaign for causes that are prevalent in our society. What makes it even better is that all of this is coming from a universally loved source: a golden-brown egg. Eugene had a fast rise to fame, which usually means he will be old news sooner than we think. But campaigns like this one may be enough to continue his stardom longer.

Eugene has been around for a month now, and so far he has broken a world record, been the center focus of many ads, and been on the digital cover of Paper magazine’s “Break the Internet” annual issue. The world-famous Egg also has a merchandise shop, where you can get hats, shirts, and hoodies to show your support for his message and be apart of the so-called, #EggGang.


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Photo credit: Instagram/World_Record_Egg

References:

Bromwich, Jonah and Maheshwari, Sapna. (2019,  Feb 3) “Meet the creator of the Egg that broke Instagram.

He works in advertising.” from New York Times.

Hampton, Rachel. (2019, Feb 5) “The Instagram Egg, once a beacon of random viral whimsey, was designed

by advertisers.” from Slate.  

Tobin, Ben. (2019, Feb 4) “World Record Egg: From a challenge to social media to a mental health campaign”

from USA Today.

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By: Eighmy Dobbins

What’s the outrage with Outrage Advertising?

Written By Aleria Martin

Outrage advertising can simply be defined as using something considered controversial to make a product successful. The idea comes from the influence of social media. The target audience for outrage advertising is comparably narrow compared to other advertising and marketing tactics. Young men, particularly the ones who like to stir up drama on social media, are targeted so that the product will get unwanted attention. The trick to effective outrage advertising is to say something awful that focuses on groups that the young male audience are already contemptuous of. Feminists, LGBTQ + community, and “Social Justice Warriors” make common targets. Then, rather than pitching your message straight at your target audience, you generate some outrage. Share the post to a feminist group. Pose as an LGBTQ + ally and share a disgusting online ad. Even make a complaint about your own billboards, making sure the media hears all about it. Get enough of a reaction, and your target audience will see that by supporting your brand, they can invoke the same reaction, and they can upset people through buying your product.

One recent example of this is the recent Vogue magazine article featuring Kendall Jenner. Kendall’s cover was released in October 2018 where she is seen dressed in what looks like Revolutionary-era clothing and hair. The magazine and model went under fire when Kendall was accused of wearing an afro in her photos, but the bigger problem was that these accusations did not come from the black community. The claim that she was wearing an afro came from a white community on Twitter that brought the magazine spread to popularity when no conversation was happening about it.

Assertions like this put actual confusion on arguments like cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation, and stir the pot for attention. Does outrage advertising actually get the job done? It actually does. Vogue put out a formal apology, although many people from the Black and African American community spoke on the subject saying her hair was not an afro. Many fans went out and bought the magazine to show their support of Kendall, Vogue, and the fact that this was not cultural appropriation. Vogue even reached a fan base outside of their main audience by appealing to the Black and African American community. The buzz on their magazine has been at an all-time high, and as people say in the Advertising and Public Relations world, any publicity is good publicity.


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#LikeaGirl

Written by Elle-Kaye Terry

One advertising campaign that has stuck with me for quite some time now was the Always #LikeAGirl campaign. I still remember the initial time I saw this campaign when I was 14 at an all-girls camp. The message was so inspiring to all of us at that time and still is today. When the campaign was first released, ‘Always,’ had been falling behind to competitors and needed to revamp its strategy to reach younger girls. The brand released a few statements about the campaign that said, “We set out to champion the girls who were the future of the brand,” and, “Girls first come in contact with Always at puberty, a time when they are feeling awkward and unconfident-a pivotal time to show girls the brand’s purpose and champion their confidence.” The campaign showed that many women lose confidence as they go through puberty and tend to forget what it means to be a girl. Always wanted to change the way it means to do something, “Like A Girl,” and take the negative connotation away from it. The response to the ad was more than Always would have ever thought. They received over 85 million youtube views from countries all over the world. The campaign won numerous awards and even went on to become a halftime segment at the Super Bowl. The fact that the ad came out in 2014 and is still being talked about today shows just how relevant it is in our lives and just how much of a hit it was. This ad was extremely cool and unique to me because it showed just how important the creative team behind the production was. The creative team came up with the idea, supported it the entire way through, and executed the idea successfully in the end. #LikeAGirl is an ad that, I believe, will continue to be shown for years to come.

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The Future of Advertising

Written By: Eighmy Dobbins 

Experiential advertising has become the new way to create memorable connections between a brand and their consumers. Over the past few years, more and more companies are turning to experiential ads instead of traditional digital advertising. According to Rich Ord, Digital advertising has become over saturated and boring to consumers.  Many consumers claim it has become too invasive into their search history or past clicking habits (Turow, 2009). Others do not like the fact that they can’t get on social media without seeing multiple advertisements each minute (and usually the same ones over and over again). Advertisements on YouTube are also ineffective because viewers press “skip ad” as soon as possible. Advertisers are realizing the struggle of digital advertisements as well. The human attention span is  only about six seconds, which makes it harder to create a memorable advertisement that will stick with consumers. Now, experiences are becoming the trend companies are investing in.

            Experiential advertising creates a natural relationship with consumers by recognizing the memory of their personal experience with the brand and their product. This, in turn, creates a high level of loyalty and gives brands  an edge over their competitors. It’s impersonal and does not have much impact when someone scrolls by an advertisement on a page. When a consumer goes to an event and gets to see/taste/smell a product, it creates a memory and they will be more inclined to buy the product in the future. Consumers get to talk with brand employees and influencers and engage personal dialogue about the product, as well as get their questions answered. The same goes for brands, because they get feedback from consumers about what they like or dislike about their product.

            One of the first advertisement experiences I remember was the Red Bull “Stratos” jump. This advertisement took place in 2012, but to me, it feels like yesterday. Red Bull is notorious for partnering with extreme sports athletes, but they took this event in 2012 to the next level. Red Bull  hired skydiver, Felix Baumgartner, to do the world’s highest skydive. The entire event was live streamed on YouTube and had the highest viewing traffic ever with over eight million people watching. Although viewers didn’t skydive with Felix, they felt like they were in space with him as he jumped.

            South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas has more and more experiential advertisements each year. This past year, two of my favorites were: HBO and Casper. HBO created themed escape rooms for SXSW goers to try and solve. The escape rooms were themed as some of HBO’s hit shows, like: Veep, Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones.

Casper is a mattress company and they partnered with an app called One Night, which lets travelers book a hotel room after 3 p.m. for that night. Consumers who downloaded and used the app received a discount price at the Austin Motel, one of Austin’s trendiest hotels. On top of that, Casper had refresh rooms on site with Casper beds and pillows. Visitors signed up for a time slot and spent 45 minutes of relaxation on a Casper mattress. This experience was my favorite because consumers had the opportunity to sleep on the product before investing in it. Now the next time they are in the market for a new mattress, Casper will pop into their heads. There is a new wave of advertising approaching us, and we will see more brands allocating their budget to create experiences for consumers instead of the same digital advertisements we are accustomed to now. 

Ord, R. (2018, August 28). Experiential Advertising - Where Live Advertising is Exploding. Retrieved from https://www.webpronews.com/experiential-advertising-where-live-advertising-is-exploding/

 

Turow, J., King, J., Hoofnatle, C. J., Bleakley, A., & Hennessy, M. (2009). Americans Reject Tailored Advertising and Three Activities at Enable It. h ps://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1478214l

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Our Favorite Holiday Ads

It’s heart-warming to experience the joy of the holidays.  Tis the season for family and giving, but also an exciting time for advertisers to spread happiness, cheer, and love.  We wanted to share some of our favorite holiday commercials from years past. We hope it puts you in the holiday spirit.  Happy Holidays!

 

John Lewis’s “Buster the Boxer”

With all the basics of a happy holiday commercial, this one has a comedic twist. It features a little girl getting the perfect gift for Christmas, a father working tirelessly to assemble this perfect gift for the daughter he loves, and some adorable wilderness animals adding extra fun. The main message being John Lewis products are fun for everyone.  We love the execution.

 

Amazon Prime’s “A Priest and Imam Meet For a Cup of Tea”

This ad takes a more serious note, but does a phenomenal job of spreading the message of love, which is appropriate for the holidays. It features two men from different walks of life finding common ground through the season. After meeting to share some laughs and tea, they find a connection and end up purchasing the same gift for each other.  We admire the message of love and inclusiveness that this ad conveys.  

 

Toyota’s “R+S”

With a similar message of love, Toyota’s “R+S” conveys its message in a different fashion. Featuring a large family working hard together to create something beautiful and sentimental for their grandparents, this is a traditional story of family love that is sure to cause a few tears.  Toyota emphasizes the togetherness and sentimental value of the holidays.  We appreciate the “family brand” image that Toyota shares with this ad.

 

M&M’s “Bring Everyone Together”

Who doesn’t love M&M’s and their light-hearted commercials?  When one of these M&Ms causes Santa to faint, he decides to do his job for him. However, he fails miserably, leaving it up to the citizens to give their gifts to the intended receiver.  We love this reworking of the original ad for a funny and sweet message of togetherness that’s sure to bring a smile to your face.

 

Folger’s “Peter Comes Home”

Originally broadcasted in 1986, this classic commercial became such an integral part of holiday ads that it has been recreated several times and still used today. It features a son coming home unexpectedly and waking up his family to the smell of freshly brewed Folgers coffee. Over the years variations have been made, changing details about the characters and adding unique personal touches. However the message is always the same: families should be together to enjoy the beauty of the holidays.

 

When Advertising Goes Wrong

 

Carefully crafting a brand image is a key focus of advertising.  But what happens when a brand missteps?  Morris+Mitchell recently took a look at a case of advertising gone wrong.  Guest blogger Dylan Owen shares a specific example from Dove beauty products.    

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJssvw1LQbI

Dove recently released an ad which came under fire and could lead to some customers boycotting the brand.  The problem?  Quite simply, racism.  In the 3-second video Dove posted to its Facebook site, a black woman was shown removing her top to then expose a white woman underneath followed by another woman. Many perceived this clip to be suggesting that a black woman could be found more attractive should she lighten her skin. One question that viewers kept bringing up was, how did Dove overlook the racial context of this video?  This is not the first time Dove has made this type of mistake, and at what point will they learn?

The social media outcry over this ad escalated into a public relations disaster for the brand.  Making matters worse, Dove’s apology and statement came across as insincere for many women. Dove declined to say how the ad was produced and approved but the company did state that they are “re-evaluating our internal processes for creating and approving content.” If Dove’s main goal is to represent “diversity of real beauty” then they need a better strategy.  Because of the recent controversy, similar ads have resurfaced involving race, including Dove’s Visible Care body wash ad as well as a debacle over the packaging on Dove’s Summer Glow Lotion.   

In 2011, Dove apologized for an advertisement for Dove Visible Care body wash, which appeared to portray a black woman as the “before” photo and a white woman as the “after” photo.  The ad then asked consumers which had “more beautiful skin?” According to Dove, all three women were meant to represent the benefits of using the lotion.  But when viewing the ad, it is easy to see how it could come across in a negative manner.  

In 2012, Dove encountered criticism for labeling of its Summer Glow body lotion.  The company printed “normal to dark skin” on bottles of lotion. Dove angered its 'real women' as the brand's Summer Glow suggests that dark skin isn't normal. While Dove has already apologized for its choice of words, stating that the product should have been labeled “medium to dark skin,” Bottles of the “normal to dark” lotion can still be found on the shelves. Dove did state, however, "We take this issue very seriously and are sorry for any offense caused. These bottles were discontinued in 2012. Many of our lotions focus on moisture as the key benefit and in some cases, we label them 'normal to dry skin'. This product should have been marked as 'fair to medium skin' or 'medium to dark skin'. There was a mix up with the batches, and we labeled the wrong product."

One may question Dove’s marketing strategy and approval process.  Taking such a big misstep in marketing is certainly not making real women feel beautiful.

 

Brand. New.

By Guest Blogger Hunter Lees

As a student at ACU, I’ve had the unique opportunity not many college students get to experience. I’m a senior in the Ad/PR department. I keep busy working at Morris+Mitchell, the student-run Ad/PR agency as well as playing Wide Receiver for ACU football.

Recently, our school made history as it brought ACU football back to campus. The excitement could be felt in the air as fans, students, and alumni experienced this momentous event. All ACU sports are now played on campus. This hasn't happened since November 27, 1958! This is something that has boosted morale not only for ACU athletics but for the university as a whole.

One highlight of the new stadium has been the marketing associated with the event. While the branding doesn’t change year to year, there are new marketing campaigns each season. The name for the campaign for the 2017-2018 sports season is “This is Home,” a theme which encompasses the feeling of so many athletes as we are able to compete on campus for the first time in our college careers.

The marketing team ensured a cohesive look and message to its audience.  Marketing also chose to highlight former athletes in the design of the new stadium. Giant murals of ACU football legends line the home side of the stadium, which gives the area a unique feel. The inside of the stadium was also carefully decorated with posters placed throughout the different levels honoring specific ACU football greats and their respective positions.  Continuity is key to a great marketing campaign and the ACU team attended to every detail accordingly.

Fortunately, I have been able to experience the student/athlete dichotomy. While guests can see most stadium details, the locker room is reserved for players and coaches. The locker room is an intimate place for players and this new facility is the nicest I’ve experienced in my sports career. This locker room impresses players who have transferred from larger universities such as Cal Berkley and The University of Arkansas. There are so many unique details, from the walls being covered in players from the 30’s and 40’s, to recent NFL player like Daniel Manning having his own area designated in honor of his number 11 jersey.

The stadium is a wonderfully built structure but the hard work and thoughtfulness of the ACU marketing and graphic design team have really set the facility apart. I think I can safely say that the entire 2017 ACU Football team feels like the sky is the limit with what we can accomplish during this special Wildcat opening season.

Go Wildcats!

Pitch Perfect

What Makes a Great Capabilities Pitch?

No matter the product, location, or goal of a business, prospective customers must be aware of what that business has to offer. Advertisers make that happen.  Advertising agencies are no different in their need to promote themselves effectively in order to obtain new clients. This is where a capabilities pitch comes in. A pitch is a way of letting the client know exactly what an agency has to offer. A well-crafted capabilities presentation will play a vital role in landing the job every time. So, how do agencies take the pitch from average to outstanding? It’s as simple as these four steps.

Step One: What we do.

Research. Research. Research. Research everything the potential client has ever done and learn all their strengths and weaknesses. An agency will never want to be caught off guard in a meeting. Highlight the agency strengths and align them with the job the client needs.  Know your agency’s weakness as well and don’t be afraid to admit a service that isn’t offered.

Step Two: Who we do it for.

Success is tangible.  Prove the agency’s core strengths with concrete examples.  Create a bulleted list that describes the talents and strengths of the agency.  Clients are visual.  Links, pictures, and case studies are specific examples of what may be used on a website in order to effectively communicate agency work.

Step Three: Why we’re different.

Don’t just sell yourself, listen, then sell the client.  Regardless of the talent the agency possesses, the needs of the client must be understood in order to gain their business.  Understanding the unique selling position of the client is the best way to begin the process of learning what the client needs.  An agency must know what makes their client stand out among their competitors. In order to advertise for a client, you must always keep in mind why they’re different.

Step Four: So What?

It’s the final countdown.  The last step is communicating why the client should choose your agency. This is accomplished by combining the previous three steps into one final message.  Taking special care to highlight the specific ways in which the agency is equipped to fulfill the client’s needs.

We’re going to get to work putting what we’ve learned here into practice. What about you?

How Posts Go Viral

We all remember the 2007 YouTube sensation of Charlie’s poor baby brother crying after getting his finger bitten. Since then, it seems the Internet has only gotten more infatuated with babies, puppies, ice buckets and crazy 13 year-olds on Dr. Phil.

Wouldn’t it be nice if virality could be as simple as A + B = YouTube fame? Unfortunately, a secret formula doesn’t exist to help your content go viral. The rule of thumb for viral viewership used to be that a post would be considered viral once it received over 5 million views within a 5 to 7 day span. Now, the number of views a video gets no longer constitutes virality. There are, however, a few commonalities between viral videos. Keep reading to check them out and decide for yourself what videos you’ve seen fit into each category.

1. Emotional Tug

Content has to connect. If the audience doesn’t emotionally identify with what they are watching, the post isn’t going anywhere. Posts must elicit some sort of emotional reaction from the viewer. In general, people like to share things that make them feel good. A heartwarming video that moves you to tears or makes you roll on the floor with uncontrollable laughter is much more likely to be shared by viewers. Furthermore, if a video containing certain political beliefs or social issues you identify with crosses your path, you are more inclined to share it because it reaffirms your beliefs and lets others know them too.

2. Buzz, Buzz and More Buzz

Virality goes beyond viewership. A post may be getting shared, but is it the talk of the town? The notion of buzzworthy content is evident on social media through the use of hashtags. Does it become a trending topic on Twitter? Are a bunch of your friends commenting about it on Facebook? The engagement that a video gets on the web goes beyond the screen and continues through word-of-mouth. If you’re obsessed with a video or article, you’re definitely going to want to talk to friends about it, which only increases its virality in the real world.

3. The Test of Time

Although content rarely lasts a lifetime, longevity is still a significant element of virality. Videos come and go, but every so often one seems to “stick.” Even after the video itself becomes outdated, you’re still left hoping your eyebrows are “on fleek” and you can still “cash me ousside.” While the videos themselves may not be around in five years, or even five months, their phrases become ingrained in the minds of society and continue to flow from our screens to our mouths for years to come.

How bou dat?