We see it everywhere today. #This. #That. It’s become a sign-off for many on social media. “I’m about to devour this burrito! #delicious.” It’s annoying enough when our friends do it, incorrectly I might add. (Seriously, are there people out there looking to see if “delicious” is trending? Are people looking for news about “delicious?”) But it’s become such the norm that big brands are starting to abuse them and think that people actually want to communicate with them.

I get it when it’s done for a reason, like in TV shows. I’m sure Dancing with the Stars (#DWTS) gets a lot of conversation going for fans of the show while they’re watching it “together.” And by “together,” I mean in their living room with millions of other viewers not in their living room.

Charities are also good examples of a properly placed hashtag to raise money, make a kid’s wish come true or promote their cause. But recently, I’ve had enough. Especially from brands that are simply trying too hard.

Dove Men’s Care had a great Super Bowl commercial. One of my favorites of the day. It focused on dads, and it had kids from infants to adults simply saying, “Daddy,” and “Dad,” while their father interacted with them. Good stuff. I have a soft spot for those because I’m a dad. And hey, I actually use Dove Men’s Care products. But why did you have to ruin the spot by ending it with, “Share how care makes you stronger with #RealStrength?” Seriously? Men and sharing? You just created a great spot that I got lost in because I loved it so much and then… (SFX: Car crash!) Surprise! It’s a commercial! I’ve looked for results from that hashtag with no success but I did see a chain of tweets that didn’t impress.

But that’s nothing compared to the latest one that seems like an SNL skit. (I almost said, “Has my panties in a wad.”) Poise Pads for bladder leakage. Look, I get it’s an awkward product to try and sell. And the commercial makes the point that many women use period pads for their light bladder leakage. (LBL for those in the know. Now you’re in the know.) But Poise is made for pee. Not for periods. In fact, that’s the first line of copy on their website. This is great information. If I’ve got LBL, I couldn’t be happier than to have a smaller liner in my drawers made especially for pee that’s gonna help me out. So let’s wrap this up and move on, shall we?


How do they ruin it?

“What if women took those period pads and turned them into something awesome? How would you recycle your period pad?” with #RecycleYourPeriodPad? full screen. Seriously!?! Maybe I’m old school, but this really seems dumb to me. I’ve looked on Twitter and all I’ve seen are what appears to be a bunch of seeded tweets telling people to get their free samples of Poise. Nothing really entertaining that was made from their good ol’ period pads.

It sounded like they went into the concepting room and said, “How can we use a hashtag?” and then tried to shoehorn an idea into it. It’s a recipe for stupid.

My point is this, if you have a reason to do a hashtag, by all means use one. The hashtag should happen organically. But too many brands want this two-way communication now with their audience. Guess what? It’s OK to just talk to me and for me to say to myself that I like you. I don’t have to interact with you and share something with you. How about I just buy your product and we move on? #PeaceOut.