The TSA Wanted To Appeal To Kids. What It Did May Make You Laugh Or Cry (Or Maybe Both)

The TSA Wanted To Appeal To Kids. What It Did May Make You Laugh Or Cry (Or Maybe Both)

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.  It's not easy being unpopular,

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Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

It’s not easy being unpopular, but powerful.

You want those who use your service to appreciate you.

You want them to believe your staff are decent human beings who are just trying to do a job on your behalf.

Today, you see, we’re discussing the Transportation Security Administration.

It rarely appears on lists of America’s Top 100 brands. 

It incites frustration and suspicion.

In years past, however, it’s tried hard to show a friendly side.

Recently, however, the TSA’s attempts at marketing have been less successful. 

An ad enticing customers to pay $85 for TSA Pre — by lauding the idea that at least you won’t have to dress twice in one day — inspired not a little derision.

It was as if the TSA was giggling at the inconvenience it causes and was cheerily charging customers to avoid it.

The security body is undeterred.

Its latest attempt at creating a positive brand image was targeted at teens.

Some might find it painful. And not just teens.

Teens, you see, have drifted away from Snapchat to TikTok. This is an app that encourages you to post little music videos to amuse your friends. And anyone else who passes by your phone.

TSA, therefore, thought it would give this amusement a try. 

After all, teens need to know what food they’re allowed to have in their carry-ons too, especially with all the Holiday travel happening.

What better way to tell them than to create something in their style, on their preferred medium?

A kindly TSA employee, Lisa Farbstein, indicates food items that are allowed on board and those that aren’t.

A highly infectious track intones either Nope or Yep, as each item is shown. (This is a popular TikTok meme.)

A glorious attempt at authority talking to those who despise it? Or a 15 seconds no teen will ever get back?

I fear some might find this attempt at ingratiation a touch gauche.

Indeed, the TSA operative herself covers her face at the end of the video in an unsuccessful attempt to maintain a little gravitas.

Then again, it’s a touch more endearing than most of the TSA’s recent work.

And, who knows, maybe one or two kids are now sitting at their family dinner tables being offered food and intoning Nope or Yep to the sound of the TSA music.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

This article is from Inc.com

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