How Not to Do Holiday Marketing

It’s a shame when marketers and advertisers use holidays the wrong way in their marketing. A holiday is a great time to get people out to purchase your product, especially if it is related to that holiday. If you run a grill store or maybe sell quality meats, marketing for July 4th makes a lot of sense. But if you sell pens or want to offer your law services, maybe using July 4th in your marketing isn’t the best idea.

Just because there is a holiday, doesn’t mean you need to use it in your marketing! This should be a rule in marketing that we all need to keep in mind. But it seems like many companies, agencies, and individuals don’t take this suggestion. Instead every holiday becomes a chance to market to the masses. C’mon everyone celebrates Labor Day, let’s sell them our handmade candles! Maybe not the best example, but you get what I mean.

The idea for this blog came to me as I started creating social media posts for some companies. I usually search out the upcoming holidays just to see if any are relevant to the businesses. I tend to just write a quick little “Happy ‘holiday name’ from ‘business name'” for use on social media. Now, a holiday like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not exactly the kind of holiday where people throw a party or greet friends with “Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day”. It is meant as more of a remembrance and celebration of his life and actions, rather than a time for us to give gifts or throw a big bash.

Now Martin Luther King Jr Day is coming up January 18 this year. And of course, you can expect to see companies big and small use it to their advantage. I don’t think we will ever see a holiday where no company decides to use it in their marketing. Below are some of the worst offenders, companies that posted and tweeted about certain holidays and it didn’t turn out quite right.

mlk hats.png


Oh, you should have just stopped at… well you just shouldn’t have posted. (Image via


Build-A-Bear wow. Marketing on 9/11? That’s just a no. (Photo via.


AT&T, same to you as Build-A-Bear, you don’t market on 9/11! Can you just not market for one day? (Photo via

vegas blow dry bar.png

What do lashes have to do with Memorial Day. Also, “Going home is not an option?” was a terrible choice of words to use for Memorial Day.


I get where Cinnabon was going, but it’s just not right. I doubt there are people out there making sacrifices so you can eat at Cinnabon. (Image via

Some quick tips
1. Think before you use a holiday in your marketing. Does your company relate to that holiday? No, then just wish them a happy holiday.
2. Don’t market on 9/11, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and other holidays that are about remembrance. Just be sincere, don’t try selling something. Just leave these days alone, you can market any other day of the year.
3. Worst comes to worst, if you HAVE to post on a holiday just wish people a happy holiday from your company (Christmas, July 4, Valentine’s) or ask them to remember what this day is about (Memorial Day, 9/11, etc.).

About MARKIT Group

MARKIT Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing and public relations firm with an emphasis on social media, reputation management and monitoring, as well as brand management. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Fla., with offices in New York, Pittsburgh and Charleston, S.C.
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