An important lesson for any brand: It’s not always about you.
There are holidays and moments that might be very relevant for your business’s brand, and you should speak up and capitalize on that moment. But make sure it resonates, even when it’s light-hearted.
Take April Fools’ Day, for instance. Brands from Lego to Netflix contributed some fun content that caught our eye. In the case of Lego, they invented a fictional product that vacuums up and sorts legos — something many people said should really exist!
Another example: The mattress company Casper ran a promotion just as we adjusted our clocks for Daylight Savings Time, offering customers a discount on all their products to help ease the blow of having lost an hour of sleep. A light, whimsical, and simple activation, Casper’s emails and social posts related to this promotion might not have broken the bank in terms of mattress sales, but they immediately felt right to us — and we’d wager most consumers felt the same way. Casper promises better sleep, so any moment when we might lose or gain an hour of the precious commodity is an ideal time for them to speak up.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Dodge’s Super Bowl commercial that connected a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote to selling trucks. It’s always a good time for brands to embrace sensitivity and equality, but there’s a very bright line between paying homage to a hero of the Civil Rights Movement and lip service. The connection Dodge tried to make was a stretch, and rang hollow with viewers — resulting in resounding and near unanimous criticism in the aftermath of the ad’s original airing.
What does this mean for brands, companies, and organizations? When we’re working with clients, regardless of industry, our main advice is–be true to your brand. Shakespeare was right: to thine own self be true. Identify your values, and then live by them.