Last week’s riots and looting in South Africa was a spectacle of pure chaos, causing damages, loss and detrimental effects on a scale most had never seen. Their effects are still being observed and being attended to as we speak, but in a world where everyone uses the internet and social media to make fun of even the most dire situations, it’s unfortunately obvious that there was stream of looting memes, videos, and jokes that spread around the web. And companies tend to jump on this too, as is the example of Clink One Cards (@clinkonecards on Tiktok), whose riff on Amazon’s near-autonomous, cashier-less Go stores is honestly genius, if not obviously controversial. But chances are you’ve already watched it above and know that already.
As stated before, the video spoofs Amazon’s Go stores commercial, changing the stores’ key feature of having no cashiers and allowing people to buy with their Amazon accounts with people just looting what they want instead. It’s… Oddly fitting to say the least, and very funny at most. Unfortunately, it’s also quite controversial, something Clink One themselves seem to have noticed as they took the video down. In fact their behavior is a great representation of people’s behavior online these days, where some large event happens, the internet makes fun of it, and only after it goes on for a while do we realize how serious it is and decide to take it seriously as we should. In Clink One’s and the rest of the world’s case, we all stopped laughing at the ridiculousness of people looting and saw all the businesses affected, people harmed and property destroyed. Things that no one can find amusing. Whether our initial amusement itself is a bad thing or a statement of people’s cynical and jaded view towards reality is a story for another time. But perhaps even just thinking on it will help us further evaluate this cycle. Only time can truly tell. For now, we’ll just say Clink’s marketing team has an interesting sense of humor.