It’s all too easy for internet veterans to roll their eyes when brands and organizations start creating content based on internet memes — especially memes sparked by month-old viral videos that are only now hitting second-tier social media platforms.
That said, I’ve got to hand it to Statistics Canada for latching onto Corn Kid.
Unlike all of the sneaker manufacturers, college sports teams, health food purveyors and fast food chains who are now using everyone’s favourite adorable child of the moment to promote things that are not corn, StatsCan jumped on the meme to promote an important subset of Canada’s agricultural industry.
And they didn’t even need to pay little Tariq(‘s mom) $360 for a personalized Cameo clip!
🌽 🎶 IT’S CORN! 🎶🌽 In honour of #corn season, we shucked the husks off our big pile of corn data.
— Statistics Canada (@StatCan_eng) September 2, 2022
The federal government’s national statistics agency fired off a tweet on Friday with the now-iconic “IT’S CORN” catchphrase of the boy who set hearts aflame and mouths a-cacklin’ with his extreme love for the “knobby” vegetable in an episode of the popular YouTube show Recess Therapy published Aug. 4.
“In honour of corn season, we shucked the husks off our big pile of corn data,” continues the tweet, linking to an original StatsCan article meant to help people “learn more about this sweet vegetable.”
The article linked was actually published on August 5, just a day after Recess Therapy’s now-viral “The CEO of Corn” hit the web, and weeks before clips of the youngster saying things like “have a corntastic day!” and “It’s a big lump with knobs. It has the juice!” started blowing up on TikTok.
“Corn, sweet corn is there anything you cannot do? You can eat it fresh, frozen or from a can, make tortillas or bread with its flour, or feed it to livestock. You can even drive your car using ethanol made from corn,” reads the post.
Another government agency, Public Services and Procurement Canada, replied to the StatsCan tweet on Friday with a pun about corn.
What? It’s just a pun about corn!
What an interesting kernel of information. Thanks and have a corntastic day! 🌽
— Public Services and Procurement Canada (@PSPC_SPAC) September 2, 2022
Like many news outlets have pointed out in the wake of Corn Kid’s TikTok debut (which actually does coincide with the onset of corn season), StatsCan points out that there’s a dark side to all of this delicious, juicy corn-mania.
“Last year was a down year for fresh field sweet corn growers, with marketable production falling 2.4% to 191,581 tonnes. While that sure is a lot of corn, production was down 13.6% in 2021 from a decade earlier and almost one-third lower than in 2007.”
Fingers crossed for better growing conditions next year, when more people than ever will be getting down with the suddenly-cool crop… unless another vegetable goes viral first.
It probably will, but we here in Ontario should always appreciate the bounty we have in our backyards; Over three-quarters of the annual corn grown in Canada sprouts from fields in Ontario and Quebec, and as someone who was born in Chatham-Kent, I can tell you that it is fantastic.