Yesterday, plenty of brands jumped onto the International Women’s Day bandwagon, and among the worst I’ve seen are McDonald’s, which turned it’s golden arches upside down, and BrewDog, which released a pink label for their beer. If only equality was that easy.
While these are extremely superficial attempts to grab some retweets and likes, they comes as no surprise. Apart from these one-off calendar events, there are plenty of campaigns about equality, diversity, inclusion, responsibility and sustainability, from companies who spread insincerity in many forms. They say they care about their customers, but gladly let them wait nine minutes in the telephone queue and send them emails from a no-reply email address. Soft drink companies talk cheap about sustainability, but take no responsibility for the plastic waste their products produce. Social networks advertise themselves with messages of diversity and connecting, while allowing fake news and hate speech to spread.
It’s easier to change appearances than actually change, but I’ve plenty of hope that consumers increasingly see right through this opportunistic baloney, and that companies will see these topics as more than a thin layer of varnish. If only we’d understand that we aren’t defined by what we say, but by what we do.