It started with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The story goes that when Hallmark wanted to fix slow sales during months between real holidays they simply created their own holidays to boost their business. It worked. Americans now spend more than $33.9 billion every year between these two holidays (with spending on mom at $21.2 billion being almost double dad at $12.7 billion). Using the internet to spread the word, the practice have grown, and it seems every day is a new National [Insert Anything] Day. Here’s why it’s both stupid and brilliant.
Why National [Insert Anything] Day Exists
Take one look at Mother’s Day or Father’s Day and you’ll quickly see why we’ve seen such a crazy increase in the number of made up holidays in recent years. The amount of money it pumps into related businesses is truly amazing. Made up holidays can easily increase business by 100% or more for many. Who wouldn’t take advantage of these made up days to boost business for their own company?
Looking at Twitter trends, it appears #NationalLobsterDay is now a thing. It may seem stupid but with over 3,200 tweets on the topic not only is it trending, it’s also making many take notice (those 3,200 tweets likely mean hundreds of thousands of impressions). And that’s exactly what marketers are hoping for. How many people do you think will eat lobster who wouldn’t have without seeing it on social media?
This National [Insert Anything] Day idea allows any company to increase sales when times are slow and get people to take notice. Businesses in the same category simply need to band together and they can raise sales for all involved.
Not All Made Up Holidays Are Commercial
While most of these made up holidays are based around boosting business, that’s not always the case. As we can see in the example, #NaturePhotographyDay is one that isn’t likely to raise sales but unites people around a common theme.
These events seem much more genuine, though I’m sure some marketers are still trying find ways to profit from it, like selling nature photo packages. There are also the crappy marketers that try to join in on trending hashtags to push their own products to the uninterested, even when they’re totally unrelated from their own industry. Please don’t be one of them. Always make sure you’re relevant and not desperately trying to cash in.
Stupid In Principal, Smart In Practice
For those looking at these made up commercial holidays it seems stupid, but as we see there’s plenty to be gained from the businesses that invent and promote such days. Increased sales and awareness, along with an opportunity to engage with those talking about the event offer great reason for any business to want a holiday of their own.
By taking the Hallmark holiday idea and harnessing the power of social media to quickly make these events seem like real days of celebration, businesses are able to cash in on increased sales and share of voice. Now the question is, when will you plan your company holiday?