MLK Day Sale: The Lowest of Marketing from Kmart

Screenshot of Kmart's Martin Luther King Day sale. Online only.


Some savvy marketing guru at Kmart knew that today the name of the man who once had a dream of freedom would be universally celebrated. So they thought that the best way to honor the man was to make an online sale in his name – in other words, to make money using his reputation. What an altruistic and patriotic form of celebration (!). Which other country on earth celebrates its national hero with a mega store sale? None. And America owes a lot of that freedom to Martin Luther King…


On a day when most American patriots celebrate a national hero by participating in a number of cultural activities, memorial services and the like, this is what the marketing gang at Kmart came up with:

I don’t know about you, but there are a number of things wrong with this picture. One, for starters, is the desacralization of a man, who, for many, is a national symbol. And let’s say that organizing a sale on Martin Luther King’s day, and using his name to promote it, is not that bad. But the banner used to promote this online looks like the work (and idea) of a ten-year-old, and adds to the insult.

But give to Kmart what is Kmart’s and remember what Marting Luther King Jr. said once about choices:

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

As it seems, Kmart made its choice. Kmart’s PR firms have included Alison Brod PR, Kekst & Co. and others.

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