With a rise in digital media for businesses, there's one piece of advice that's consistent across the board: always make sure your content relates to your brand.
But sometimes, we need to bend that rule a little bit.
Or a lot.
At least that's what the Steak-umm frozen sliced steaks franchise felt the need to do.
And who better to break the branding rule for than world-famous astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson?
Last Sunday, Tyson shared a one-line tweet that caused a much more heated debate than anyone could have expected, especially from a frozen food brand.
"The good thing about Science is that it's true, whether or not you believe in it."
The good thing about Science is that it’s true, whether or not you believe in it.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@Neil deGrasse Tyson) 1618138070.0
Steak-umm was quick to step out of the kitchen and respond in a surprising way:
"Log off, bro."
log off bro https://t.co/sf4zLm33Jm— Steak-umm (@Steak-umm) 1618281606.0
In fact, Steak-umm must have woken up that day and chosen pedantry.
Like many who have studied or focused their careers on fields of science, the frozen food brand took issue with the pairing of "science" with "truth," rather than "discovery" or "theories" or "hypotheses," where the possibilities for research, experiments, and discovery remain possible.
With the firm stamp of "truth" across the face of the field, progress would inherently stop.
They tweeted again:
"The irony of Neil's tweet is that by framing science itself as 'true', he's influencing people to be more skeptical of it in a time of unprecedented misinformation."
"Science is an ever-refining process to find truth, not a dogma."
"No matter his intent, this message isn't helpful."
Twitter, quite frankly, was breaking out the popcorn for this one.
Seriously - we've got Steak-umm talking epistemology on Twitter over a stupid Neil deGrasse Tyson tweet and we're w… https://t.co/h4H84Ne4rh— Josh Jordan (@Josh Jordan) 1618283745.0
Here I am, a certified Science Communicator* throwing my support behind Frozen Meat Sheets over the reigning Today'… https://t.co/LIvjWoQSGj— Dr. Tori Delaine (@Dr. Tori Delaine) 1618281940.0
Seeing a frozen meat company drag @neiltyson for intellectually sloppy thinking is not something you see every day.… https://t.co/JXkuVc4s8C— David Gorski, MD, PhD (@David Gorski, MD, PhD) 1618318544.0
But perhaps even more hilariously, the debate remained one-sided.
Steak-umm continued to tweet in their own comments section in response to some of the users who wanted to give Tyson the benefit of the doubt.
@KevinFl79824320 nope. science itself isn't "true" it's a constantly refining process used to uncover truths based… https://t.co/20JQxshXGZ— Steak-umm (@Steak-umm) 1618281944.0
@theleoji leo im so sorry— Steak-umm (@Steak-umm) 1618289173.0
Tyson eventually did tweet again, potentially as a response to the food brand, but anything is possible at this point.
"If you have the urge to argue with my previous tweet, before you do, please spend 4 (minutes) reading this post."
Tyson then linked an article he wrote for the Hayden Planetarium titled, "What Science Is, and How and Why It Works." Addressed specifically in the article is Tyson's concept of "truth" and how he uses it in his discussions of science.
This might be Tyson's way of slapping the food brand in the face, but it might also be an invitation for users to explore Tyson's one-liner in greater depth.
Either way, Steak-umm's response was both entertaining and intellectually stimulating, and seeing a more direct response from Tyson inevitably would have been, as well.