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The Strategy Room

Marketing Memorial Day Without Losing Its Meaning

By: Megan Berry

Memorial Day Communication

Memorial Day has become many things. It is often deemed the unofficial start of summer, a celebratory kick-off to barbeques, cold beer, summer sales and fireworks—all rolled in with a bit of red, white and blue. Of course, for many Americans, the true meaning of the national holiday is still, first and foremost, about honoring those who gave their lives in service of our country. No matter how you intend to commemorate, there is no denying that Memorial Day is an opportunity for businesses to communicate with their audiences and demonstrate core values. Here are a few examples of how businesses have chosen to honor Memorial Day and join in on the conversation.

A Thoughtful Nod

This morning, Tim Cook shared how Apple is honoring Memorial Day. At Apple’s newest campus, Apple Park, A “Remembrance Table” has been set in the Caffe Macs. A single place setting is joined by a single rose and flanked by the American flag. It is a kind reminder and somber approach to highlighting Memorial Day in the cafeteria of this tech giant.

Bring it to Life with Video

Black Rifle Coffee Company honors Memorial Day with a powerful video; asking viewers to “Remember what matters this Memorial Day weekend.” Warning, I’m still crying at my desk after watching this one.

The video follows individuals going about their day, who are then joined by those who were lost—a friend, husband, son. Those loved ones then fade away and the video closes with a heartfelt reminder: “It’s not about today, it’s about them. The ones that gave their lives. For when the light fades, it’s up to us to make sure the legacy doesn’t. Never forgotten.”

Go Big, An Integrated Approach

Last year, I received an invitation to “Kick off Memorial Day the right way,” via USAA’s Financial News & Advice newsletter. The email directed you to a podcast honoring Dane R. Balcon and scores of related content focused on remembrance. It was a touching nod to Balcon and reinforced the company’s core values of “service, loyalty, honesty, and integrity” to its members.

USAA Newsletter: Honoring the Fallen

This year, USAA crafted a beautiful microsite devoted entirely to Memorial Day 2018. On the site, you may dedicate a poppy—known as a symbol of sacrifice—experience a virtual reality tour, listen to stories and join in on the conversation. USAA also continues to engage audiences on social platforms using the #HonorThroughAction hashtag. With its thoughtful newsletters, tweets, videos, microsites, and pop-up Poppy Memorial, USAA offers an integrated approach to honoring the more than 645,000 men and women in the Armed Forces who have given their lives since WWI.

USAA Poppy in Memory

However you chose to communicate around Memorial Day, know that there are several ways to honor the fallen and celebrate what they served to protect—our way of life.




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