It’s a truism that people are more marketing savvy nowadays. The average focus group attendee will have some understanding of the marketing process, and perhaps have strategies to use it to their advantage.
Advertisers were always bound to start toying with this notion of being “in on the joke”, responding to it in playful ways.
What used to be witty and subversive is now feeling desperate. I’m seeing more and more self-referential advertising, with brands (or agencies pushed for ideas) giving a knowing wink to this knowledge.
Breaking the fourth wall as actors would put it.
Get the tone right and it can be playful, different, adult-to-adult.
Get it wrong and it is intensely annoying.