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Have you ever seen a microwave commercial? 

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BY BRENDAN KANE  

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 vs. 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. 

Since 2005, social media expert Brendan Kane has helped the largest brands and celebrities in the world reverse engineer how to make content go viral. Out-of-the-box thinker Brendan and his team at Hook Point break down the most effective strategies to generate new opportunities, innovate and scale your business, and create a compelling brand – both online and off – so you can thrive in the new micro-attention world in which we live. Brendan and Hook Point have generated 60 billion views and 100+ million followers for the content they have worked on.

  • Over the course of his career, Brendan:
    Developed the first-ever influencer campaign on YouTube in 2007
    Oversaw $200 million in marketing spend
    Worked with major corporations MTV, Viacom, Vice Magazine, Paramount Pictures, IKEA and Sketchers
    Generated $1 billion in revenue for clients
    Worked with celebrities Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Adriana Lima on their digital strategy
    Generated over 1 million followers on his personal Facebook and Instagram account as an experiment
    Authored bestselling books One Million Followers: How I Built a Massive Social Audience in 30 Days and Hook Point: How to Stand Out in a 3-Second World

And now, Brendan is on board at Mind Jump Magazine. We should be so lucky!

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