Brands Celebrating Holidays Can Be A Real Trick

October 31, 2013

Boo! Happy Halloween.

Or should I say Happy National Black Cat Day? That seems like the logical sequel, after all, to Tuesday’s National Cat Day that seemingly came from no where and was celebrated by netizens and felines everywhere. At least it looked like everywhere from my Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Uber was delivering kittens for snuggles, so surely this holiday has broken the mainstream.

Americans are expected to spend $6.9 billion on Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Surely National Cat Day spending can’t be far behind. (Incidentally, cat is the ninth most popular costume for adults, according to the federation.)

And think of all the other holidays we didn’t have just a few short years ago.

My favorite is the ever popular International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which of course falls on Sept. 19 every year.

And my love for cats and pirates seems to put me in line with just about every brand that has a Twitter account.

Take Arby’s for example:

Or Verizon:

Or the many more documented at the sadly short-lived Brands Celebrating Holidays Tumblr.

According to the all knowing and powerful Wikipedia, Talk Like a Pirate Day has actually been around since 1995. But the real rise of it seems to have coincided with the rise of the community manager roll at companies like Arby’s and Verizon that need a constant stream of content to fill their editorial calendars.

And that’s not a bad thing, per se. I would expect you to celebrate National Cheesecake Day if you were, for example, let’s say, the Cheescake Factory. Most of these brands celebrating holidays are doing so, after all, with tongue in cheek. They know that a tweet might make you smile, and if not, it is easily ignored.

But in just the past few years we’ve seen too many examples of brands not being particularly deft in their content choices. AT&T comes to mind.

The Internet is, of course, made of cats, so celebrating cat day is de rigueur.

But next time you’re browsing a list of holidays to fill your tweeting schedule, perhaps thinking twice about celebrating Deviled Egg Day, Sandwich Day or Guy Fawkes Day should be in order.

Your followers will thank you.