Apologies to any of you who might be sensitive to the overload of dispatches from the social media viral video machine known as TikTok. It’s just that so much of life is happening virtually these days, it was bound to become a place where notable things happen occasionally. Or a lot.
Case in point: Michael Reinhardt, a Caribou Coffee employee, recently posted a video on TikTok alerting viewers to some very unfortunate branding that the coffee chain signed off on prior to nationwide stay-at-home orders:
The cardboard beverage sleeves that read “FIGHT THE URGE TO REMAIN INDOORS” might be perfectly suited to the company’s perky brand voice in a normal year, but right now, when everyone is literally being urged to remain indoors, it reads as tone-deaf and cringeworthy. Employees at various locations are being tasked with removing every fourth cup sleeve from these shipments, leaving behind equally perky messages more suitable to the times, such as THE SCENIC ROUTE IS THE ONLY ROUTE and MAY CAUSE IRREPRESSIBLE HAPPINESS. Some viewers of the TikTok video confirmed that they were also Caribou employees who had been asked to remove the offending sleeves.
A Caribou spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the company is assigning workers to “go through and sort out materials that were produced before the pandemic and aren’t exactly on point with the heroic efforts that are being made to contain the Coronavirus.”
The general public seems to understand that these sleeves are the result of unfortunate timing and that Caribou isn’t taking some sort of stand against COVID-19 safety measures. And since Reinhardt appears only to be placing the sleeves aside rather than dumping them in the trash outright, perhaps the slogan will make its triumphant return once we’re actually allowed to resist our urge to stay indoors.