Brands Being Dorks #1: Shit Fake Hacking


Written by Robert Foster
05 Tuesday 05th March 2013 MTV. For about an hour.

In an apparent move to exploit the publicity surrounding the Twitter hacks, MTV and BET, two Viacom properties, staged a bogus hack of each other's Twitter accounts. Each switched their profile photos. MTV's Twitter account displayed BET's profile picture, while BET's displayed MTV's. The switch ended after about an hour, with MTV tweeting "Catfish-ed you guys. Thanks for playing!" (via here)

You still awake? That's it. That's the story, and it took two weeks to reach me, and I'm on the internet from 8am til 1am, every single day, on sites where this kind of thing would get mentioned (I know, fuck my life, right?). 

It's clear what happened here, they saw that Jeep and Burger King's followers leaped by something like a quarter (because prior to that, what could you possibly gain from following Jeep on twitter?), and wanted a piece of the action, so they did a fake hack to get some attention. That's totally fine, a job's a job, and if you're young and you work in the media, part of your job is to blow older executives' minds by doing faintly naughty things like that (someone I know was once told by his bosses "if we ever figure out what it is you do, you're fired", *vom*), but did MTV have to be so shitty about it?

Here's the thing, it could have been great, they could have gone the distance and done something inventive with it: tweeted for a day as Walter White, or pretended to be Biggie's ghost: any of that kind of thing, but instead they just swapped profile pictures with BET (Black Entertainment Television), wrote 'HACKED' in the title and tweeted about being hacked lots. It was the Twitter equivalent of when the head boy and girl do skits that poke the gentlest of fun at the headmaster at the end of term assembly- bland and vanilla in the extreme, and worse than that, it makes them look like such late-to-the-party, only-if-mum-says-so, boring dorks, which is sad, because MTV didn't always make everyone want to smoke crack.

Not too long ago MTV were cool, exciting and a little unpredictable. Forget whinging about how they don't show music videos anymore (you guys know there's 1000000000 channels that do that, right?), I'm sad that Jackass ended, sure it was pretty jock-y at times, and it gave rise to punches in the balls becoming popular again, but it was anarchic and fun, and it was their flagship show! Now, with much square-er brands than theirs enjoying the benefits of a little controversy and even courting it and publicising it a little (Jeep could have been real uptight dicks about this, and they weren't, they were chill guys and now everyone likes them a little more for it), the best they can manage is the Christian rock of all Twitter hacks? I'm sad for you MTV, you're dorks now.

With brands doing non-dorky things like the stuff I wrote about yesterday (here and here), there's no excuse for this level of blandness, and it's with that in mind that I'm going to name and shame those brands that continue to act like prefects at a school dance in my new irregular column, Brands Being Dorks, which will be a forum for us all to expose these guys for the narcs they really are! If you spot a brand being a dork, grass them up to me on the Brands Being Dorks hotline at, and I'll give them as much of a dressing down as I can. Together we can fight blandness and pave a way for a better tomorrow!

(Topman are lucky I spotted this appalling editorial on 'Southbank Skate Style' when I was already stuck into gunning MTV, or they would have gotten 500 words of telling off instead. I think they must have called my mum and asked her to describe how she thinks skateboarders dress, which is nice because she needs to fill her time somehow, but she got it really wrong)

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