Grammarly

In Its TV Spot, Grammarly Presents The Worst Social Media Manager In The World

An attempt to make a realistic, up-to-date commercial goes so very wrong.

I was watching some show on a mid-tier cable channel when I was introduced to the saga of Lily, a brand-new Social Media Manager for a vaguely defined app. I believe this commercial to have been created by sixty-year-old ad men who don't know what "social media" or "apps" are, but who wanted to pitch an idea toward those millennials they've been hearing so much about.

I recognize that most commercials come to us from some alternate dimension where a woman is as likely to pour her cereal down her pants as she is to accidentally call a customer service person who's her identical twin but neither of them realizes it. But this commercial raises a number of very troubling questions. At least, I find them troubling. And I hope to trouble you with them.

Was that the extent of her training?

Welcome to the company! We're going to have you sit quietly through a stultifying meeting where nothing important gets done (so far, a pretty realistic representation of corporate life), and then throw you into the deep end. Here are the keys to the official Twitter account! Don't say anything racist or political, and don't make any promises to anyone. But don't worry if you do, because no one's keeping an eye on you for your very first day.

Has anyone ever enjoyed a job that much?

Our plucky young heroine has finished a long day of dealing with angry people on Twitter, and she's in a great mood. She could go another eight hours! Now, I don't know if you've ever been on Twitter, and more specifically I don't know if you've dealt with angry people there. It's not a great experience. People have learned to pack an awful lot of pure vitriol into 140 characters. And dealing with a concentrated stream for an entire workday is something you need to work up to. I've got friends who are community managers, and for the most part, they love their communities very much. But that doesn't mean they don't drink heavily after a day like the one in this commercial. The server's down? Bad news, because that means the "fans" have nothing else to do but complain.

What are you selling, exactly?

The product that's being sold appears to be some kind of autocorrect software. Which is exciting, because up until now we've had to make do with...autocorrect software. We all already know what the computer thinks we should probably be typing. It's not a breakthrough.

Is she actually qualified for this?

It bothers me that she's typing all these messages out from scratch. Surely there's a bank of approved phrases, like "We're sorry. Our engineers are getting the system back online as soon as possible" and "If I offer you a $5 gift card, will you stop talking about my mother?" But according to this commercial, our hero is hand-crafting individual answers. And, more importantly, she's getting at least one word wrong in every single message. Her final tweet is "Thanks for your patients, everyone!" and that's just not a feasible mistake to make. If someone's job is going to involve typing quickly, you've got to make sure she has a certain level of, well, literacy. That autocorrect thing you're selling is definitely going to cause a hilarious mistake at some point, you know.

She was just making stuff up, too. She doesn't know if the engineers are working on anything. She just learned about the problem five seconds ago. You can't just start giving out official responses until you've checked with someone to find out the scope of the problem.

Why was she the last person in the office?

Everyone left while the new hire stayed late? That seems mean, especially after a day like that. I bet she's going to steal some stuff before going home. This seems like the kind of office that has a foosball table no one's going to miss.

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