Companies have been trying to go viral on TikTok, and it’s giving millennial cringe – Screen Shot
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Companies have been trying to go viral on TikTok, and it’s giving millennial cringe

In 2019, ‘Ok Boomer’ became the saying of the century, symbolising the generational divide between gen Zers and not only gen X but also millennials. Now, in a time when TikTok is king, companies are desperately trying to stay ‘relevant’ by participating in as many trends as physically possible. And the results have been… interesting.

Getting creative with online content is nothing new, brands have been desperately trying to keep on top of gen Z TikTok sounds, gags and inside jokes for quite some time now. Recently, however, it’s become evident that every single media agency, marketing firm, and even consultancy company is dead set on becoming the next overnight trending sensation—jumping on every viral audio clip and trying to join in on the fun.

And without being overly harsh or judgmental, you can really tell some of these videos have been made by corporate individuals who don’t fully grasp the unsaid rules of the video-sharing app and who’re maybe a tad less socially native than us chronically online gen Zers.

Some of my favourite videos—and by ‘favourite’, I mean the most cringe—involve very stale and unentertaining clips paired with incredibly unrelated and bizarre music. There is a severe lack of awareness from brands desperately trying to fit in. Take for example this high-key embarrassing TikTok from company Oilshore (not entirely sure why they have an account in the first place). While the topic “asking my co-workers about their office icks” is an inherently gen Z trend, the execution just isn’t quite there.


Rodney strikes again with the boomer questions 😐 #work #office #corporatetiktok #worktiktok #officetiktok #boss #manager #officeicks #icks #corporateicks

♬ Just a Cloud Away - Pharrell Williams

Next up is Hurr, a fashion rental company. Although it definitely has a less awkward approach to content than Oilshore—the company’s videos are up to date with current trends and you can evidently see that the median staff age is around the mid 20s to early 30s bracket—all of Hurr’s TikTok are seriously lacking in originality. Taking advantage of every single viral audio can only get you so far.


What are your email icks? 😷 Inspo from @tribera #officehumour #marketinggirlies #sideeye #bombasticsideeye #trend #trending #officelife #officehumor #funny #icks #ick

♬ Bombastic Side Eye Criminal Offensive Side Eye - CasaDi

The office hypewoman 😎 #marketinggirlies #officehumour #officelife #bonita #doyouordoyounotfeelbonita #office #officehumor #funny #trend #trending #marketinggirl #fashion


And finally, Komodo. Considering the fact that Komodo is a global social agency, I was expecting slightly better than the quintessential “which co-worker are you?” clip. It was definitely quite awkward watching the employees try and mimic classic archetypes like, “the always cold one” or “the DIY girl.”


Which co-worker are you? 🤔 #socialagency #officelife #coworkersbelike #influencermarketing #officetok #friendsthemesong

♬ I'll Be There for You (TV Version with Dialogue) - The Rembrandts

Rather than focus entirely on the negative, we should also give some credit to those few companies who’ve managed to capture the gen Z voice in a much more authentic way. Office-based TikToks are always going to be a bit awkward, but it’s definitely possible to create a video worthy of the FYP.

One good example would be clothing brand Set Active. Whoever is in charge of the company’s TikTok page has definitely captured the right tone of voice when it comes to being actually funny online.

One of the account’s most popular videos features a highly dramatised peek into the new office seating plan. And in what can only be described as an episode of The Real Housewives of Corporate Life (an imaginary show that I’d hope would just revolve around office drama and Diet Coke breaks), we get to watch the Set Active employees lament to the camera about who they’re now going to be sat next to.


POV: the new office seating chart really shakes things up🌪 #setactive #officelife #coworkers

♬ original sound - setactive

Next, we’re given a video where each staff member talks about how they feel now that the seating change has been made. It’s witty without being try-hard, and it gives us just enough of a look into the company’s culture and team dynamics, without feeling as though we’re watching a weirdly formatted advertisement.


Today the office changed forever. Spilling all the tea monday😘 #setactive #officebts #tea

♬ original sound - setactive

As you can see, it’s definitely doable—creating legitimately funny office content can be done. However, it should probably be done by either gen Zers themselves, or zillennials who can tap into the minds of younger generations. I’m sorry, Boomers, but, maybe stick to LinkedIn?

A brutal analysis of TikTok’s ‘Dating Wrapped’ trend and gen Z’s obsession with slideshows

Ever since 2016, the internet has made a tradition out of celebrating surveillance capitalism in the guise of tailored reports that recap our habits of the year. Following the launch of Spotify Wrapped—the coveted feature that fans routinely grind towards and base their entire personality around when it drops every December—the concept of a ‘year-in-review’ has gripped most digital services today.

While Apple Music has its revamped Replay feature and YouTube Music offers a Recap experience, Deezer releases its summaries in the form of #MyDeezerYear and Amazon Music generates rather disappointing playlists for users. Heck, even Reddit has its own Recap feature that illustrates the amount of time you spent shitposting and visiting various subs in the hopes of finding a custom long Furby.

Over the past few years, Spotify Wrapped’s impact has catapulted the feature as a cultural reset among gen Zers and millennials alike. Today, both generations expect every single online platform to track and judge their data in exchange for aesthetic statistics they can share with the rest of the world. And, as it turns out, their dating lives are no exception.

Dating Wrapped and the cult of brutal insights

A Spotify Wrapped report essentially gives you insights about your top five artists, genres and songs, audio personality (what even is Sorrow Escapism Liminal Space?), and amount of minutes listened. Now, imagine such information being pulled from your miserable presence on dating apps like Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, and more.

If you ask me, the report would read something like this: “In 2022, you swiped right on 26 crypto bros and 38 people named Matt. You went on a sum total of 25 dates with your matches, out of whom 5 kittenfished you, 13 ghosted you right after, and 2 blocked and reported your profile to our teams. You took 150 screenshots of cringey profiles to share with your WhatsApp group chat, and even rage quit our app 7 times. What was that all about, huh?”

“You also received 57 unsolicited gym selfies, but to top things off, you were among the top 1 per cent of users who slid into people’s DMs at 3 am! Congratulations, your dating app rizz is doomed beyond recovery!”

It’s worth noting that the conversation about dating apps having their own year-in-review feature has been making the rounds for a while now. In 2020, comedian Grace Hayes went viral after she uploaded her DIY Bumble Wrapped on TikTok. Leveraging the green screen effect, Hayes curated #bumblewrapped on the video-sharing platform—with 44,800 views and counting. The clip was so popular that even Bumble left a comment stating: “This is AMAZING. Inspiring us 😏😏”

The following year, software engineer Niko Draca created a third-party website for Hinge users to generate their own Wrapped reports. “First thing you’ll see is how many people you encountered on the app and how many you said yes to,” Draca explained in the widely-circulated clip. “Then you’ll see all of the likes, rejections, matches, etc over the year. You can also see what time of the day you sent the most chat messages, how many people you chatted with in total, and how long those conversations lasted.” Apart from the top three emojis, the website additionally provided users with a word cloud made up of the terms they deployed the most in DMs.

Draca was undoubtedly the trailblazer for Hinge Wrapped, and it’s safe to say that the dating app has been real quiet since the video went viral.


@Hinge 🖤 Wrapped #spotifywrapped2021 #selflove #manifestation #hinge #datingapp

♬ All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor's Version) (From The Vault) - Taylor Swift

Fast forward to 2022, TikTok users have now taken things up a notch with a trend called ‘Dating Wrapped’—where they are seen brutally recapping their past year in romance in hopes of manifesting a better love life. Here, insights are no longer restricted to a single dating app. Instead, they focus on the participants’ relationship exploits in general, including how they met their matches, what they did on first dates, and how many times they cried over someone.

All of the data is then collated onto… a PowerPoint slideshow, and the deck is later presented using a laptop angled towards the viewers.

“[This is] truly one of the most depressing things I’ve ever done,” said Toronto-based TikToker Alexandria McLean in her video which is believed to have kicked off the trend. “I went on 21 first dates… Yikes! I met 66 per cent [of matches] on Bumble and 33 per cent on Hinge. In terms of where we went, activity and dinner are tied at 30 per cent, coffee [and] walking dates [are] at 28 per cent, and drinks are 42 per cent. I don’t know why I went on so many walking dates, I hate walking dates.”

“In terms of who ended it, 90 per cent [of matches] ended it with me. Honestly, [that’s] a low number considering I’m a walking red flag,” McLean continued. “So, if you want to go out and want to be a part of my 2023 Dating Wrapped, hit me up!”


It’s brutal out here ✨ #spotifywrapped #dating#datingintoronto#bumble#hinge

♬ original sound - Alexandria

Shortly after McLean’s video floored TikTok, users started querying the creator about the PowerPoint template and font she’d used for her presentation. It even paved the way for the rise of #datingwrapped, now with 8.1 million views and counting.

“If any of these men see this, I want you to know that you’re not special and you’re just a number to me,” TikToker Amber Smith captioned her video, which has since garnered over 3.1 million views. In the clip, Smith detailed that she went on 18 first dates, was handed two parking tickets, and spent a total of $383.36 on her matches. “I wish I had not calculated this number,” she stated. “What could I have done with this money? Literally anything else would’ve been better.”


If any of these men see this, I want you to know that you’re not special and you’re just a number to me 😌✌🏼 #datingwrapped #wrapped #tinder #hinge #facebookdating #firstdate

♬ original sound - Amber

As of today, the concept of Dating Wrapped has evolved to include star signs, age gaps, red, beige and pink flags, the number of hoodies participants have stolen from their partners, STIs they’ve treated, as well as the number of tattoos they regret getting. While some bestow digital awards to their dates, others are seen creating introvert and queer editions of the trend.

Given how 2022 still has a couple of weeks left to conclude, I wouldn’t be surprised to witness the introduction of even more metrics to publicly analyse our love lives on the internet. Maybe the presentations can have a section where people note the different aesthetics and subcultures they’ve dated in the past year?

At the end of the day, no matter how many slides you choose to include in your deck, the aim of Dating Wrapped at its core is self-reflection. So, you’re good as long as you walk away with actionable insights and don’t bring all the negative energy gathered in 2022 into your love life in 2023.

Gen Z’s obsession with slideshows and unhinged infographics

If you’ve stumbled across #datingwrapped on TikTok before, you might have noticed comments along the lines of “Don’t be shy, drop that PowerPoint template,” and “What’s the name of the font you’ve used? Where do I download it from?” Sure, these remarks might just be pointers that ultimately help others jump on the trend, however, it’s also another incognito factor that aids the popularity of Dating Wrapped.

With a presence that can be traced back to the COVID-19 pandemic, PowerPoint presentations have become the zeitgeist of gen Zers in cyberspace today. Be it to mansplain our hobbies or interests to others, give a crash course about our favourite series nobody asked for, plot moves in Clash of Clans, prove “the One Piece is real,” or justify that Chainsaw Man’s Makima is worth simping for, slideshows have become our weapon of choice to present peers with digestible chunks of information about the most unhinged topics.

If you really think about it, the resurgence of PowerPoints can be linked to our pathetic eight-second attention span. Gen Zers crave dynamicity in everything they are exposed to and what better way to explain something to the generation than using infographics they can breeze through?

The format also harbours parallels with LOL graphs or ‘silly graphs’ that first gripped meme culture in the mid-2000s. The statistical representation essentially doubled as a visual aid—designed to explain the most non-academic and trivial subjects “for teh lulz XD.”

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A post shared by Sufiyan Junaid (@sufiyanjunaid)

Back to the case of Dating Wrapped, the trend checks out—considering how gen Z Spotify fans have proved to be least concerned about how Big Tech uses their personal data. “I wonder about all my stats on Youtube, Discord, Instagram,” an enthusiast previously told SCREENSHOT. “I wish there were things like Spotify Wrapped in each of them where we can see all our data like the most watched video, channel etc. And even further, I wish god would show us data of our life.”

All that being said, the possibilities of dating apps implementing a Wrapped-like feature seem bleak for the foreseeable future. Until then, you can choose to follow TikToker @cobiscreation’s advice and sneakily screenshot your crush’s Spotify Wrapped report the moment they share it on Instagram. You’ll know the exact songs and artists to stream the next time you guys hang out together.

Who knows, maybe it’ll work wonders for your 2023 Dating Wrapped… or not.


Spotify Wrapped is free game #dating #hinge #sneakylink #spotify #fyp #spotifywrapped #fypシ #fypage

♬ original sound - Cobi 👨🏽‍🎨🖼️✨