When it comes to advertisers trying to reach out into the world of social media, results tend to veer wildly between “inspired” and “oh please make it go away I can’t unsee that oh no.” Or, in the case of the new Mentos “Negative Tweet Eliminator,” just plain confusing.
Don’t get me wrong; the idea of an app that “destroys” tweets displaying too much negativity, in order to increase the amount of positivity on the internet (and, of course, emphasize the… calming aspect of Mentos mints, I guess?) is easy enough to understand, and it’s a cute idea. The confusion comes when you discover that the app is for Facebook users.
Was it too much to create a Facebook app that would remove negative Facebook status updates? Is there something inherently more negative about Twitter than Facebook? Is the app trying to play up some Jets vs. Sharks style rivalry between the two social network tribes? None of that is clear, perhaps as a lesson for us journalists and inquiring minds: that we should instead try to be Zen, like the ad campaign’s mascot, Dragee.
As an online diversion, the app is fun enough; It takes tweets posted in the last minute or so with keywords like “hate,” “FML” or “#fail” and “destroys” them onscreen as you watch. The tweets still exist on Twitter—they’re merely eliminated in an animation in the app itself—but unless you’re inherently fascinated by the mundanity of people’s dislikes on Twitter, it soon loses its appeal. And as an advertisement for mints… well, it makes an okay online diversion, at least.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.