Last night, while watching television, I saw a new commercial from Sears. The 30-second spot promoted upcoming sales discounts on, get this, "MLK Day." Yes, the company has decided to turn the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday into a discount shopping day and, why not? Many consumers now have the day off so, why not entice them to go shopping with special MLK Day sales discounts?
Sears, are you serious? Is the company that desperate for sales that it needs to defile Mr. King's memory by turning the anniversary of his birthday into a discount shopping day? Is it not bad enough the commercialization of the December religious holidays, or a holiday like Veteran's Day? Maybe MLK discount shopping days have been around for the past few years, but this is the first time I have experienced out-and-out retail advertising for it.
As you read this, please don't believe that I am against discounted shopping, I'm not, but can't companies such as Sears find a more tasteful, let a lone a more innovative or creative, way to offer discounts (i.e., win business and foster customer loyalty)? Question to the marketing brain trust at Sears, is there any concern as to how a promotion like this might affect the brand?
Not a 2D story I know, but the commercial last night just struck a chord.
P.S. I noticed that the GAP was running an online MLK Day promotion as well. Must be the latest and greatest strategy in the retail industry.