Last Friday, Target announced it is doing away with gender-based signage and product references in a number of aisles across the store. While the majority of our readers cheered the decision, Target took a digital beating from throngs of customers who vehemently disagreed and flooded the big-box retailer’s Facebook feed with comments, some more painfully misguided (and entertaining) than others. That’s when Mike Melgaard, a self-described “pot-stirrer” who loves satirical humor, got an idea… to pose as Target, a very sassy version of Target, and skewer the haters with comically acerbic replies. His fun lasted 16 hours before he was found out.
So how does some random guy pull off a stunt that involves assuming the identity of a major brand like Target, and getting their social media followers to believe the responses are coming from them? Pretty easily it seems. According to Adweek, Mike just created “a fake Facebook account—Ask ForHelp, with a bull’s-eye profile pic—and began excoriating the haters.” He managed to comment on about 50 posts before the fake account was shut down.
Amazingly, the devilish plot Mike hatched required almost no thought and took zero planning. He was “just surfing Facebook on Sunday night when he saw targets news” and comic inspiration struck. He told Adweek, “Immediately, I knew there would be your typical outraged American spouting emotional reactions on their Facebook page.” Mike added, “After taking a look, I was literally laughing out loud at my computer. A few more minutes in and it struck me how hilarious it would be to portray myself as a parody customer service rep. So, I did just that, and the rest was history. Honestly, it was like striking comedy gold. Every one of these people gave me the ammunition I needed for a great response.”
So here are just some of the hilarious exchanges Mike…err… Ask ForHelp had with Target customers that made us laugh so hard we cried. See over 40 more snippets of his “work” over at Adweek.