We Need To Talk About Sunny D And The Commodification Of Depression

A branded tweet about Super Bowl malaise sparked a meme and a backlash. It started at 8:24 PM on Sunday, when the official Twitter account for Sunny D (because even Sunny D has a popular social media presence these days) posted the cryptic tweet above. A tweet preceding it was about watching the Super Bowl, so clearly someone was just getting bored with the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. I can give them some benefit of the doubt. (Full disclosure: I’ve got Sunny D in my fridge right now, next to that purple stuff.)

Some people on Twitter viewed the tweet as harmless boredom and turned it into a meme:

Other corporate brands used the tweet as an opportunity to say, “Hey, you all right, buddy?”

Sunny D’s corporate account later replied to one of these tweets with a “big mood” joke:

The Little Debbie corporate account even tweeted (then deleted) some self care tips:

And that’s when things started going off the rails, as other people stepped in to suggest maybe mental health shouldn’t be a cudgel for #brand engagement.

It reminds us of the very woke Steak-Umms Twitter rant of 2018, and then we remembered a “very woke Steak-Umms Twitter rant” exists and had to lie down for a bit. You could even say we can’t do this anymore. (Sorry.)

People on Twitter criticized the original tweet’s easy-to-misinterpret wording and some of the mental health concern-themed responses to the tweet as being exploitative.

And some of the gripes were more sarcastic than others:

We may as well accept it. We don’t have universal healthcare and snack food Twitter has to rescue us from ourselves.

If you or anyone you know is considering suicide or self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

(Via Quartz, moyaialientwt, and Brands Saying Bae)