Steak-umm Has Some Woke Thoughts on Why Young People Embrace Brands in Social

A refuge from their otherwise empty lives?

We've enjoyed the @steak_umm Twitter account ever since Pennsylvania agency Allebach Communications took it over and started posting weird, amusing, seemingly stream-of-consciousness musings to the feed. 

It might not be to everyone's taste (which, in a way, is on brand—Steak-umms aren't, either), but you can usually sense a generosity of spirit underneath the brand's sometimes caustic tweets—a feeling that its habit of extending empathy and friendship to its followers isn't entirely cynical and calculated, and might actually be heartfelt. (This is perhaps the most ringing endorsement you could offer any corporation with a social-media presence.) 

On Wednesday, though, @steak_umm posted a particularly interesting thread that delved more deeply into this idea of empathy—and specifically why young people, who are often described as jaded and anti-corporate, might be drawn to brands on social media at all. 

It made some good points, and didn't sugarcoat things: 

This morning we spoke with Nathan Allebach, who writes the @steak_umm account. We asked him what inspired yesterday's mini-rant. 

"To be honest I was just feeling it in the moment," he tells Muse. "I keep the old 'stickies' app opened on my laptop all day and whenever I have ideas or thoughts I jot them down on it. Most never see the light. I had the bare bones of the tweets at the top of a note so midday yesterday I decided to flesh it out a bit and maybe halfway through I realized it somewhat fit within the 'Steak-umm bless' voice." 

Allebach admits he wasn't quite sure how the thread would be received (with almost 30,000 likes as of this writing, it went over very well in the end). "Even though I've done similar rants on the page in the past ... the audience is always growing," he says. "But it just felt right, given that we're starting to roll out the whole 'bless' messaging into our overall brand presence now." 

Indeed, the "Steak-umm bless" refrain has moved from the tweets into videos:

The ideas in the tweet thread, though, came from Allebach himself, which reflects the freedom Steak-umm gives him on the account—and explain why so many of his tweets come off as genuine and not (overly) manipulative. 

"It was a personal conviction and set of thoughts," Allebach says, "but as you know sometimes in social media it's best to share those type of thoughts through a voice that's more easy for people to absorb information through than a person." 

We should note, though, the intentional misspelling of "meet" as "meat" in the first tweet—a good reminder that, whatever social messages @steak_umm might be delivering, it will always be branding as well. 

And in case you were concerned that @steak_umm is biting off more than it can chew with social commentary, rest assured it fully understands the ephemeral nature of everything it does: 

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of Clio Awards.