We all know it’s incredibly crass to use a national day of mourning to promote your brand. But still, every year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Pearl Harbor Day and Sept. 11, companies do it anyway.
We understand the temptation. If your tweet includes the #MLK hashtag, chances are it’s going to be seen and even retweeted many more times than a regular missive promoting toilet paper or Oreos.
To be fair, some brands may feel a social responsibility to honor and recognize the day. This, for example, is a great way to do it:
Moving, respectful, even educational.
But not everyone can be as classy as the AARP. There are tons of social media editors out there who still don’t understand that directly comparing the legacy of Martin Luther King to their product is tacky beyond belief. So now, for your MLK Day entertainment, here are the most egregious offenders.
We’ll be updating this list all day, so send the best/worst tweets and Facebook posts you find to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: We have a winner for crappiest Martin Luther King Day social media promo of 2014:
Here’s our extensive list of runners up:
Be happy MLK fought so hard for equality because otherwise you’d have to pay for your fries.
OMG like MLK totally would have loved texting! Also, isn’t “can’t” a typo? Good work, everyone.
Certainly the most WTF of all.
For the three people alive who have Twitter accounts and eat Malt-O-Meal.
Even your dream to own a crappy phone case made by underpaid factory workers #dreambig
DntDrnkNDrive on MLK Day. Srsly,JstDnt.
Be nice and not racist, but also remember to look hot.
Wish we could protect our eyes from this egregious tweet.
We’re sure he would have loved that.
Celebrate Martin Luther King’s legacy through gluttonous consumption.
Celebrate Martin Luther King’s legacy by feeling anxious about your own wedding.
#polkadots, you guys.
Pssst, that apple tree quote? That’s called a metaphor.
Apple trees, bikes. Who knew he was so interested in sellable goods?
Did Martin Luther King also love doughnuts? Did he love drooling on himself? Did we miss something?
If a politician is surrounded by girl scouts without tweeting it, was he ever truly surrounded by girl scouts?
Martin Luther King’s life and legacy have influenced people to do many things, but none of them involved @BroadwayDetroit.
Happy MLK Day, now BUY OUR POTATOES. Though potato stamp art does sound pretty good tbh.
Like that crazy Zzzquil–induced dream I had last night about playing croquet with Perez Hilton and The Simple Life–era Nicole Richie using baby penguins as balls? That’s just like MLK’s dream, right?
Because your current lame-o hairstyle is what you should be concerned about today.
And don’t forget your nails! [UPDATE: The above tweet has been deleted. From @CJShoppingTours, it read, "Do you have #MLKDay off? Relax. It's #ManiMonday, start your week off right. goo.gl/MV1rIY http://t.co/mN1ACJi1He".]
Don’t forget to register for some random luncheon in honor of the man who nobly fought for equality.
OMG what a coincidence, so did we!
Hint: try not to use the #hangtime hashtag when referring to the battle for civil rights in the U.S.
A great approach if you want all of your potential customers to immediately associate your product with funerals :(
Slightly inappropriate, still kinda gross.
Yes, today is a great day to pat YOURSELVES, DuPont, on the back.
Also a great idea to highjack Dr. King’s name to promote your own highly divisive political beliefs on a day when we’re supposed to be thinking about tolerance and friendship.
Inoffensive, yet puzzling. Why Gandhi?
Entrepreneurs. That’s who we should be thinking about today.
Not the same thing.
“Honor his dream [of civil rights and equality]. Move yours [of slimming your cankles] forward.”
And finally, the Chive, which almost doesn’t count because they’re so clearly trolling: