How lockdown has led us to embrace every occasion
By Caroline Fletcher
P Rs are well-versed in taking advantage of awareness days/weeks/months in the calendar to secure their clients some coverage. Latching onto ‘National Bed Month’ or ‘National French Bread Day’ can yield big results.
The cynics among you may think that such awareness days were in fact invented by PRs (OK – Blue Monday was) but there is a serious point to be made, particularly when certain issues have a spotlight shone on them in the media. And the past year, more than ever, has led us all to celebrate and acknowledge quite literally anything we can in order to break the monotony of lockdown.
In addition to the classic ‘big dates’ such as Mother’s Day or Easter Sunday, marketers are also likely to take advantage of trending events on social media or as inspiration for content, for example, ‘National Sickie Day’ which is the first Monday in February when people are statistically most likely to call into work sick.
To jump on the bandwagon?
It makes sense for a company to align with a specific event but beware, there really has to be relevance for it to feel authentic – such as pairing ‘National Coding Week’ with an eLearning campaign targeting mature students. This can be an excellent opportunity for brands to newsjack a trending topic while also shining a light on their own brand, basking in their reflected glory.
Which brings us onto the fact that even the big boys of social, Twitter, are encouraging us to get on-board by publishing a handy marketing calendar within its business guide. And of course, why wouldn’t they! Imagine all those juicy hashtags trending…
The key takeaway here is that if your brand has synergy with the calendar event, then by all means jump on the bandwagon.
Pancake Day, for the non-Lent observers, is usually a last-minute affair due to its flexible date. One that is only remembered after spotting a supermarket ad on TV, a child regaling the delights of a sloppy attempt at school dinners, an overly helpful granny or bumping into a huge display as you walk into your local Co-op. But during a pandemic, it’s a whole new event!
As the 16th February dawned this year, my social media feeds were already bursting with magnificent pancake breakfast creations – American style seemed to be favoured in the morning with lashings of berries and cream, a flood of lunch-time options – crepe anyone?
…and coming up soon!
Another big date that will most probably need to reinvent itself is St Patrick’s Day. The day has long been heavily associated with that wonderful Irish drink, Guinness, and whilst pubs are closed at the moment, how will big brands address this? And more importantly – how will we celebrate it without a freshly poured pint and an oversized Guinness hat? We may just have the answer, as styled by our very own Fourth Day creative force, Lizzie. Yes, your very own Irish themed pub at home! With a bar, a sprinkling of beer mats and various other Irish pub memorabilia – this is one we thoroughly recommend getting on board with.
Let’s keep these calendar events coming, they bring a welcome diversion to the daily grind and an excuse to celebrate what we have, rather than have not. It also continues to help fuel the creativity and ingenuity of small businesses and big brands, keeping us all ticking over – surely everyone enjoys ‘Bring Your Dog To Work Day’?
If only we could wake up on the 1st April, and discover the past 12 months had been a huge April Fool’s joke – alas, sadly not.
Caroline is a junior account manager in the Manchester office