Troll Goes Viral – Puts (a) Target on His Own Back
Mike Melgaard has taken the obnoxious art of Trolling to a brand new level. Posing as Target’s Ask ForHelp page on Facebook, Melgaard has received hundreds of outcries from angry customers across the US as a result of the store’s new Gender-Neutral Policy.
The masterful disguise of a Facebook page with Target’s logo as the profile picture was enough to flood the internet this week. Customers opposing (and supporting) the movement towards Gender-Neutral washrooms and children’s products voiced their opinions and were met with creative and down-right hilarious replies. The objections primarily focused on Target taking Political Correctness beyond the point that protesters were comfortable with.
This particular Troll, however, is not like most. Instead of promoting hatred, Melgaard used humour to fight back and defend his stance on the subject.
I remember how easy it was as a child to be socially influenced by my peers and the adults around me. Kids are little scientists. They hyper-analyze everything in a way that most adults have long forgotten to do. Do you know how detrimental it is to a little child’s development if he/she is too afraid to explore other interests all because society says, “That’s a boy subject” or “That’s a girl thing?” Why put that kind of stress on a child?
With screenshots of his wittiest comebacks circling the internet, Melgaard has currently accrued over 11,000 followers (and counting) on Facebook this week. His online presence has made him a hero to some and a villain to others, but viral none-the-less. “All publicity is good publicity” may not be the best strategy for brands to take, but this self-appointed Target advocate has stepped into the firing zone, and created plenty of new Target fans.
Target wasn’t partnering with Melgaard, but his ability to speak candidly on their behalf has certainly garnered the brand a great deal of support from consumers. Brands are commonly limited to speaking in legally sound and politically correct terms to get their messages across. By receiving support from their customers, their message is able to reach the masses through a more socially relevant tone. Target has responded to Melgaard’s recent activity in the same humorous manner that he’s taken.
Although Target may not condone every single response of Melgaard’s, this white knight has become an overnight sensation as a result of their forward-thinking policies. No one knows yet if their controversial policy will increase or decrease sales, but they have certainly increased their relevancy in the eyes of social news. And while it will likely take a fair amount of time for Gender-Neutral policies to become commonplace, this is certainly a step in the right direction.