How Branded Content Can Capitalize on a National Holiday

It seems every day on the calendar now hosts some national “holiday.” Everything from International Tuba Day (May 3) to Elephant Appreciation Day (Sept. 22) to National Pizza Day (Feb. 9) holds a special place in the hearts and minds of those connected, and well, also on the calendar.

National days are a great way for brands to engage with not only influencers and super fans on the topic, but also to reign in some new faces that may not have considered them before. Today, for National Doughnut Day (June 7), some brands like Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme create actionable items to bring consumers through their doors. Others, like the Salvation Army regale us with nostalgia, teaching us about the importance of the origin of the holiday. And there are always those brands with icky content, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

We ate some doughnuts did some research for National Doughnut Day to see which brands are trying too hard, and which are hitting it out of the park.

Calling Consumers to Action

Krispy Kreme teamed up with NBA legend, Shaquille O’Neal  (@SHAQ) to spread the word about a free doughnut promotion for National Doughnut Day. Shaq posted various videos at Krispy Kreme locations, urging visitors to help sell one million of the tasty treats to reveal a new doughnut after the milestone.

Dunkin’ is making consumers work for it a bit more, by offering a free doughnut with purchase of any beverage.

Trends as Education

Other brands are not going to become bakeries overnight. So they must get creative to hitch their wagon to various holiday trends. Some work, and some fail miserably. It’s good to remember not to force a trend to work with a brand, because consumers will notice them trying too hard, and call them out, particularly on social media. and Merriam Webster, possibly two of the most whip-smart brands on Twitter took the opportunity to turn the baked good into an educational experience. Is it donut or doughnut? No matter how you spell it, both brands settled the argument for everyone.

As Merriam Webster said, you really can’t go wrong.

Embracing Humor

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? Police departments across the country are leaning into the National Doughnut Day trend to embrace the Chief Wiggum stereotype of doughnut-loving cops. From the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association to the Aurora Police Department in Colorado, citizens can enjoy a humanization of the forces, and share a likeness with their counterparts.

For brands looking to participate in trending content, embrace working with a content calendar and research the days with most relevance. Websites like National Today and National Day Calendar provide a great directory of days that can also be automatically sent to your inbox, so you’ll be sure to never miss an important opportunity. Remember to always double check with multiple sources to make sure it really is a national holiday and for your respective country.