The DuoLingo owl has a reputation for being somewhat, shall we say, aggressive in following up with delinquent users who miss their day’s lesson. But on TikTok, the lore surrounding the beloved cartoon owl has taken on a whole new dimension. On a platform where brands are typically mocked within an inch of their lives (see: a recent fiasco in which Planters Peanuts attempted to start a jingle contest for its mascot, Mr. Peanut), the DuoLingo owl has gone viral for its playful, tongue-in-cheek, delightfully unhinged videos roasting Google Translate, thirsting for Dua Lipa, and twerking atop a conference table to an Adele remix.
TikTok is a platform populated primarily by teenagers, a demographic that can smell inauthenticity a mile away. So as it becomes more mainstream, how can brands gain traction on it? This week on Don’t Let This Flop, cohosts Brittany Spanos and Ej Dickson spoke to the TikTok voice behind the DuoLingo owl itself, Zaria Parvez, social media coordinator for DuoLingo, asking such burning questions as how brands can thrive on TikTok, whether she’s ever gotten in trouble for making the owl too horny, and if the DuoLingo owl has ever taken a human life (it has not, but that doesn’t mean users shouldn’t stay in line: “The key to Duo’s heart and [staying] in his good graces is to do your lesson,” she says.)
Other subjects discussed this week are the Italian band Måneskin, which went viral after winning the Eurovision competition earlier this year; conspiracy theories about Selena Gomez and Chris Evans boinking based on his Instagram stories; hot movers, and Mr. Peanut’s butt.
DLTF is released Wednesdays on all audio streaming platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher and more. DLTF is released Wednesdays on all audio streaming platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher and more.