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23 eye-rolling examples of brands pandering on International Women’s Day

“You go, girl!”–Christian Dior

23 eye-rolling examples of brands pandering on International Women’s Day

Some brands never forget to post on 9/11. They can’t resist the siren’s song of easy Patriotism Points™ on the anniversary of one of the U.S.’s deadliest tragedies. “God bless the U.S.A . . . and also our chicken sliders” seems to be the message from the good folks at White Castle. But while 9/11 is easily the most cringeworthy occasion for brands to use hashtag marketing, it’s far from the only one. Don’t sleep on International Women’s Day (IWD), which is today and coming on very strong.

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IWD is a chance for all sorts of brands to courageously recognize the contributions of half the world’s population. Women, you may have had it rough with pay inequality, sexual harassment, and that whole systemic discrimination thing, but today is your day! If you don’t believe me, just ask, like, Toyota.

It’s not that brands shouldn’t tweet about International Women’s Day. If your brand identity is geared toward women in an empowering way already, like ESPN’s women’s vertical, ESPNW, then by all means: Just do it. If you’ve got a cool message that’s consistent with your online presence, like Haymarket Books, clearly you’ve read the room. And if you’re Peanuts or Sesame Street, and have woven your way into women’s hearts from a young age for many, many decades, you have a lifetime pass for this sort of thing.

There are other exceptions too, but mostly there’s just the rule, which is that brands tend to treat International Women’s Day as a festival for pandering with cheap Girl Power-isms. It’s as though Ivanka Trump’s books got their very own day. Have a look below at some of the most egregious examples.

Big brands ham-fistedly getting in on the action

Hooray for us, we employ at least one woman!

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Because gaming is famously a welcoming space for women . . .

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. . . Speaking of famously welcoming spaces for women

We heroically made a TV show involving women!

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We heroically already have a show involving women, so . . .

Our show probably should have sat this one out but didn’t

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And finally, ugh

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