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Is your online brand exploiting Mandela Day? Stop it

I hate it when brands or companies take a good thing, break it a part repackage and sell it for a premium.

Megan Bernstein
Megan has a love and passion for great brands and extraordinary advertising. She is a true Generation Y baby. Immersed in all forms of new age marketing... More

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Example — this morning I can a mail from Groupon in my inbox encouraging me to celebrate Mandela Day with its great deals. First Mandela Day is about doing good, not buying stuff. So please explain to me how buying something I didn’t need from a bulk purchasing site, like Groupon, is going to help me celebrate the life of one of the world’s greatest leaders?!

As humble as a man can be, Nelson Mandela Day began when Madiba asked people around the world not to celebrate him on 18 July. Instead he asked that we mark the day by doing something for others. With that in mind I beg to ask how brands can so nonchalantly jump on the bandwagon for their own personal gain on a day which was set aside to do good for greater mankind?

Sure brands who plan campaigns around corporate social initiatives (CSI) or community projects have my full support — but those out trying to milk the day for all its worth go down as #brandfails in my opinion. The insincerity and commercialism defeats everything that Madiba worked so hard all his life to achieve.

Anything with reference to Nelson Mandela or South African heritage is taking advantage of the true inspiration behind the name and trying to make a quick buck on the old chap’s birthday.

Rant over. Happy Birthday Tata, you are a true inspiration to us all! Let’s try taking a page out of his book…

“It is time for the next generations to continue our struggle against social injustice and for the rights of humanity. It is in your hands.” — Nelson Mandela

  • griffin

    “Sure bands who plan campaigns around corporate social initiatives (CSI) or community projects have my full support” – and which bands would this be? U2? Btw, did you do this post to attract traffic to Memeburn with Mandela’s name on his birthday, which in turn translates to ad revenue?

  • Bertus

    i agree. the same with Christmas and Easter..

  • Memeburn

    Hi Griffin. Thank you for your comment – you make a valid point. Memeburn is a bit different to commercial brands though, as it is a media site, and it would be hard to ignore this side of the story so we could attempt to not derive revenue from it. This is also an opinion piece – the site is just serving as a platform for these views to be aired. Memeburn is not geared to remove ads for specific stories as it would hurt the user experience – in any case, we don’t calculate revenue on a per-story basis.