There are some occasions you just don’t co-opt into a marketing gimmick. And as NBC’s Golf Channel learned, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech is one of them.
Around lunchtime yesterday, The Golf Channel sent out the following tweet:
Yikes. And the responses continued, ranging from simple head shaking, to all out rage.
Scott Stratten of Unmarketing.com wrote:
Shame on the Golf Channel. I cannot fathom someone sitting around a desk saying “I know how we can go viral!! Let’s newsjack! Tweet it up!”
Stop. Doing. This.
Stop trying to piggyback off holidays and celebrations by making it about you.
Stop trying to “go viral” or “trend”.
You know what a brand should do today? Nothing. Or show some respect and send out a tweet like “On this historic day 50 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr had a dream. Thank-you for changing the world.” Or whatever it is you want to say.
The Golf Channel hastily deleted the tweet a few hours later and attempted damage control with this statement:
“Our earlier tweet was inappropriate. The intent was to celebrate this important date in history & we regret we failed to meet that standard.”
Note to brands. Sometimes, in fact most times, it just pays to be human.