Twitter can be a cruel place, as Microsoft's Xbox recently found out when the new Xbox Series S design was the subject of relentless mocking. With mountains of memes piling in comparing the console to a washing machine, fast food order station, speaker and oven hob (to name only some), it's fair to say the aesthetic tickled the creative humour of many expert photo editors.
Xbox took it on the chin, responding with a masterclass in conveying brand wit and personality – showing it is a company willing to laugh at itself, and winning many fans (including us) in the process. If you want to have a go at making your own Xbox meme, see our list of top photo editing software.
For reference, see the new Xbox's design above. Now, onto the memes...
#Xbox has announced its Xbox Series S and can't help but think I've seen the design somewhere before.#XboxSeriesX #XboxSeriesS pic.twitter.com/gYzGWbjcFjSeptember 8, 2020
Memes included creations from individual creatives, but the conversation also involved companies taking advantage of the joke to promote their own brands – a clever and creative marketing strategy.
kitchen almost finished thanks to the xbox series s pic.twitter.com/6cpxazRImnSeptember 8, 2020
Xbox Series Stove🍳 Digital cooking experience y’all @Quackity @grandayy @KEEMSTAR @Xbox @PlayStation @IGN @TCMF2 @foxygames_uk @HollowPoiint @OMGitsAliA #ps5 #XboxSeriesS #BlackOpsColdWar #COD2020 #gaming #Cooking Creds- me lol pic.twitter.com/yaQWEpFRPHSeptember 8, 2020
Xbox Series S (Speaker)😂😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/WTs6ZzNHdoSeptember 8, 2020
Microsoft always copying Sony 😜 pic.twitter.com/4sXWA42abFSeptember 8, 2020
It's all we can see now... https://t.co/9YObAoJxrpSeptember 8, 2020
Xbox responded to IGN's tweet with a pithy, self-deprecating one-liner, showing top marketing awareness from the social media team (see it below).
Didn’t know if we should Say Anything but FYI the S doesn’t stand for Speaker. https://t.co/20Il7KgHNOSeptember 8, 2020
And finally, Xbox referenced the effect the design had on the meme-creating world of Twitter by using it as a springboard to change the conversation.
You’ve meme'd the design. Now find out how we fit all the next-gen load times, high framerates and dynamic worlds in our smallest Xbox ever!Take a look Inside the Xbox Series S 👀: https://t.co/rUGcZKrzs2 | #PowerYourDreams pic.twitter.com/wTbjfCrVsESeptember 9, 2020
Public derision is a great chance for a brand to show off its personality. Social media teams worldwide could take a leaf out of Xbox's book, as the team turned the situation to their advantage with their funny engagement. Though they have had some time to practice because, as you'll recall, the Series X didn't go down too well, either.
There are certain brands who know how to win at social media, and do so consistently. If you're looking for inspiration, check out our post on the 8 brands owning social media.