Happy International Women’s Day!

This holiday has been designated for many years, but it seems to be receiving much more attention this year in the midst of #MeToo, women’s marches, Time’s Up, and a general mobilization of female activism.

To celebrate this year, McDonald’s has flipped its arches for the first time in history and will be featuring upside-down arches (to form a W instead of an M) on all of its digital platforms. While it is sure to garner media attention, it seems a bit off-brand to me. McDonald’s isn’t a particularly female-oriented business and it seems a stretch to make such a statement about one segment of the population.

Mattel, on the other hand, tied into International Women’s Day to launch a new line of diverse Barbie dolls representing 11 countries. This is far more aligned with the holiday and their customer base and, in my opinion, was a fitting release date.

Other businesses are just trying to capitalize on the momentum around the day and the women’s movement by offering an array of “women-themed” products. This, too, seems to be commercially motivated rather than genuinely relevant to the event.

There are literally holidays for every day of the year and a plethora of causes that could link to your marketing efforts. Think carefully before you jump on the “brand-wagon” and alter your products or messaging because of them. Authenticity drives revenue in the long term.

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