1. One of life’s most valuable lessons is ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’. Honestly, how much have I been preaching this over the past year? But yet here we are again, looking at tweets from brands “commemorating” Martin Luther King Day.
Are these brands so desperate to get in on MLK day that they’ll throw anything out there? Who is approving this? It’d be one thing if one or two brands did this but we’re seeing multiple brands demonstrate this kind of behavior. So, here we are again with the lesson – treat tweets like hot pants. Even if you can, you shouldn’t. And if you do, keep these three things in mind:
1. Don’t be self-serving. Major holidays and world events/disasters are not a good time to remind people to ‘buy more stuff’. Show support. Say a word in remembrance and leave it at that.
2. Remember your brand. The best guide in these situations is your brand. If you have to explain why you’re commemorating something or drawing attention to it then you probably shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
3. Plan, plan, plan. Look, no one is surprised by Martin Luther King day. It happens the same day every year. You have plenty of time to plan for it as well as any other holidays/events you want to be a part of. Think ahead. And for those events you can’t predict, develop a process that can help guide you.
Beyond this, for a quick test, the easiest way to determine if you should tweet something or not is in your gut. Did you have to stop and think about it – even for a second? If so that’s a good bet you shouldn’t go live with that thought.
2. Because it’s funny, you should. On the flip side there are times when a real-world opportunity presents itself that is too good to pass up. Hat’s off (pun intended) to Arby’s, who had the best, good-natured jab of the night, aimed right at Pharrell:
And to you, Pharrell – your Mountie gear and all – for being a good sport:
3. Update: Ice Cube IS going to have a good day. Last week I posted about the charity ‘A Place Called Home’ appealing to Goodyear for their help in a fundraiser involving Ice Cube and their blimp. The deal was if the target amount of money was raised ($25,000) the Goodyear Blimp would play along with the song ‘It was a good day’. Well, Goodyear agreed – sort of.
They are going to do the flyover in LA and flash the words ‘It was a good day’. This is a safe alternative and a great way to get involved. Hats off to Goodyear for doing this and offering up the blimp for rides to A Place Called Home’s kids on top of it.
4. How would you explain the Internet to someone from the early 90s? Think it would be easy? Well, check out this awesome clip of Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric trying to explain the Internet to their viewers/each other. This was only 20 years ago, people!
Seriously, think about it – how would you explain a smart phone to someone from 1994?
Them: “It’s a phone?”
You: “Well, yea, but…you can check email on it.”
Them: “What’s email?”
You: “It’s mail sent to you electronically.”
Them: “Why would I want my mail electronically?”
You: “Never mind. You can also check your social networks on your phone.”
Them: “What’s a social network?”
You: “It’s a network that lets people share updates from their lives.”
Them: “Why do I need that? Isn’t that what I have a phone for?”
Yea, not as easy as you’d think!