Hijacking the Holidays: The Royal Wedding and Other Madness

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Will you be celebrating National Kazoo Day this year? What about International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day? Measure your Feet Day? Fruitcake Toss Day? Well it’s too bad, they all happened in January and you’ve missed out.

For any given calendar day there is something to be appreciating, commemorating or celebrating and as marketeers we’re always looking for ways to engage and get involved with our customers on social. Sometimes, despite the best intentions, this can leave brands with proverbial egg on their faces when the content doesn’t quite land.

It might be because they’ve hijacked an event that wasn’t theirs to be part of, like Camile, a Thai restaurant…who have edited their logo…to mark the death of a Hollywood actor…known for his role as Willy Wonka? If there is a connection, it’s not visible to the naked eye.

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Perhaps they’re perpetuating troubling gender stereotypes like Miele? Because nothing makes you want to celebrate what makes you unique like a bunch of affluent white ladies sitting on a washer and dryer set. At least they didn’t try to turn it into a sales opportunity by including a link to their own website or a bunch of unrelated self-promotional hashtags right?

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Or maybe they’ve just made up their own ‘Month’ entirely like Buxton and Wet January? The least appealing name for a ‘Month’ we can think of.

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So we know that brands can be guilty of getting it wrong, Unilever is a frequent perpetrator of cringey, poorly thought out campaigns that often feature in industry round-ups of ‘Worst Ads of 20XX’ and ‘Worst Campaigns in 20XX'. Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ for example, not only widely offended people, it was also completely at odds with the messages being peddled by its brand cohorts like Axe.

In fact there are entire Facebook pages dedicated to lambasting ‘Condescending Corporate Brands’. So how do you make sure your content never winds up on one of these?

We recommend asking yourself the following questions before you post:

1. How does this relate to us?

Make sure you are connected to the event in some way and that it makes sense for you to be talking about it. Forcing a tenuous connection is easily spotted by consumers and they won’t appreciate being deceived.

2. Are our intentions good? 

If this is purely an opportunity to link into a popular hashtag for your own benefit then re-think posting at all. If your post is going to include a link to your site or your own hashtags then perhaps your intentions aren’t that pure after all.

3. What are we going to say? 

Do you actually have anything constructive to contribute to the conversation? If you can’t bring a unique perspective, research, or point of view, then your contribution might not be as valuable as you think it is.

4. Have we nailed the copy, the visual and the overall tone? 

The best will in the world doesn’t mean much when it hasn’t been executed well. Make sure you’ve used the right language, created an appropriate image and fully understand what your audience wants to see.

5. Does anyone care?

You might have nailed all of the previous questions but at the end of the day what it comes down to is…does anyone actually care? Or are you just posting because you have a spot to fill in your content calendar and no other ideas. Think about what kind of response you’re hoping for and whether you’re going to get it, there’s no point in shouting into the abyss.

If you have a good answer for all of those then congratulations! Post away and look forward to some meaningful interactions with your followers, if not we counsel caution.

There are so many ‘Days’ you could fill your calendar with them and have a legitimate excuse to bunk off work every day and with the #RoyalWedding imminent we can’t wait to see how many brands manage to find a way to get involved with it.