Youthful AF

Youthful AF

Orbán gave the order to address the so-called youth. It is not going well so far.  

There is the saying that you can’t tell someone what to do, or you can tell them how to do it – but you can’t do both.

Or more accurately, you can tell a specialist what to accomplish, or you can tell him how to go about it. But telling him both does not make sense. If you know how to accomplish something but you don’t do it yourself, you basically just hired someone else to carry it out – but then the results are not his responsibility.

Marketing is an obvious example. Imagine every single bad advertisement you have ever seen. Chances are, the creatives knew better, but the client had his own ideas and fell in love with them. In other words, he wanted a successful promotion campaign – but also told the ad execs what to put in his commercial, and the result was terrible.

Imagine an old, respectable CEO who is used to barking commands (and is usually right within his company), used to demanding higher standards (and is usually right that they are attainable), and used to filling every room with his uncontested voice. Now imagine him at a meeting with an advertising company about the 20 second commercial, cordially parting with his wisdom about “what people want” and telling the ad execs to “…make sure to say at least three times that the company was founded in 1784, by my great-great-great grandfather and has been a family tradition. Yes. That’s important.

Now imagine the resulting ad.

Ad men are specialists for a reason. The expertise of a CEO is important – to build his company and product. He probably has extremely valuable skills and wisdom. Sadly, those skills do not apply to the frivolous world of PR and communication.

No one buys a beer because the commercial tells (3 times in 20 seconds) that the company was founded in 1784. We buy beer because the ad shows us a mood. A “lifestyle”. Boobs. A full head of hair and aspirational abs. Nothing in an ad has anything to do with anything – least of all with beer. If anything, the beer helps us to lose those aspirational abs and grow our own boobs.

I know, it is wrong. Communication should not be so detached from reality. But if the above mentioned CEO needs another piece of wisdom, it is that just because it shouldn’t be, it still can be. So unless his little ad campaign would also like to change the world, better roll with the reality of it.

Or imagine a young social media company hired by an old, mothball-smelling politician who built his power in another era but polls told him that he is losing the so-called youth. Getting over his righteous disdain over today’s ungrateful youth, he hires someone like FuckJerry, the social media gurus who masterfully built the Fyre Festival brand despite the lack of an actual festival.

Actually the Fyre marketing team would be perfect for one of today’s populists. Both operate on the basis of aggressive make-believe, selling something that does not exist and lying in the hope that they will figure out later. Or that there will be bigger problems later that will make the whole scam forgotten.

Only the politician also has the power to lie with the full state enforcement mechanism behind him. He claims that the GDP is awesome – and we are gaslighted to believe that it must be true and whatever we are experiencing is wrong. He claims that the inflation is tiny, and we assume that we must be buying food wrong. And every time someone tells the autocrat (or complains in public) that something is not actually awesome, the autocrat shoots the messenger. Problem solved – in a way. In terms of communication.

But talking to youth is something else. The aggressive denial of reality won’t suffice this time in lieu of communication.

After the October 2019 municipal election defeat, Orbán identified three things that went wrong. All three, of course, only bothers him in terms of communication. He does not intend to fix any of them, but he sent his soldiers into war to tackle the communication about the aforementioned three. And they are:

  1. Youth
  2. Healthcare
  3. Climate

Read: He thinks his taxpayer-funded campaign should pay more lip service to the environment (but he would do nothing about it), to healthcare (while he aggressively submits doctors and nurses), and talk more to the ungrateful, disloyal, lazy and good-for-nothing youth. Because the ungrateful fuckers vote.

An entire squad of hungry loyalists jumped on the money he doled out for the task, promising “yes, boss, we are young, so we totally know how to talk to hashtag youth, hashtag yolo“. They probably also promised to do the Cambridge Analytica thing for him as they are young and thus self-evidently good with so-called computers.

And thus, the Youthful AF column was born – documenting the frequent WTFs these self-proclaimed youth communicators churn out.

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