Days of the Year – Seasonal Content
With the biggest shopping season of the year upon us, the now ubiquitous fight for the festive advert top spot by the big brands, is well under way. My colleague Sally-Ann (Account Director) took a nostalgic trip down Christmas advert lane in her recent blog – the marketing traditions of this time of year are as entrenched as eating roast turkey and mince pies on 25th December. The sight of the trucks driving through the snow, and the sound of the “holidays are coming” jingle (no puns intended) always gives me my first feeling of Christmas each year.
Seasonal content is everywhere – every brand is pegging their offers and messages to the big holiday, presenting more creative and dazzling content each year. Christmas is not the only day of the year to which brands will peg themselves – our content calendars are filled with special days for Mothers, Fathers, Saints, Royalty, religious celebrations and historic events. As social media is in real time, G&I take part in a lot of this kind of popular, timely and often trending content. However, as with many things on the Internet and in the marketing world, there are a few national days which stretch the concept to tenuous levels and there are others which are pure genius and truly capture attention in the moment.
From the sublime to the ridiculous and a few favourites in between, here are 3 “days of the year” which caught my eye this November:
5th August 2014 was the centenary of the outbreak of WW1 and the day on which the magnificent Tower Poppies installation begun. Sally-Ann spotted the potential of this campaign and wrote about it soon after the launch. The strength of this project created huge social media buzz and the coverage has reportedly seen a huge boost to donations for the Poppy Appeal charities. I include this unique anniversary in my days of the year line up because the installation was planned to end on Armistice Day 11th November, but after intervention from the Mayor of London some of the poppies will remain at the tower and the installation will tour the country so more people can enjoy this incredible commemoration and form of remembrance. I took my parents to see the Tower Poppies in September.
Sunday Brunch on C4 last weekend mentioned Stir Up Sunday, when the family came together to mix the Christmas pudding, often dropping a coin into the bowl for one lucky person to discover once cooked. This “day of the year” is described by Wikipedia as “an essential British Christmas tradition” and was introduced by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Stir Up Sunday happens on the last Sunday before the start of advent and these days it is when the fruit for the Christmas cake is mixed and doused in its first slosh of sherry or brandy (or both). This day of the year presents an opportunity for brands to stand out, as the only campaign I spotted this year was from the Royal Mint– buy your silver sixpence here. The Ritz London famously make thousands of Christmas puddings each year by hand! This all-hands-to-the-mix event takes place in August but did receive some great coverage. As long as a brand commits to the days of the year celebrations, consistently taking part and better still, with genuine relevance and real creativity, the activity can deliver excellent value to the campaign.
November 16th is National Fast Food Day – I’m sure you can imagine how to celebrate on this special, yet unofficial holiday, the origins of which are untraceable. A brilliant example of the vapid end of seasonal content and an excuse to share this photo which falls under the ironically named category of #internetgold – we know we shouldn’t like it, but dogs dressed up as burgers and chips does amuse a large portion of the online audience. The popularity of one of my favourite doggie blogs: Food On My Dog evidences this truism. The existence of National Fast Food Day proves you can celebrate anything on any day and establish any day of the year you want. You can start your day of the year with a Wikipedia page, but to really make it work, you need a killer online campaign.
Incidentally, today 17th November is National Unfriend Day – thinking of cleaning up your Facebook “friends” list but afraid of backlash? Totally legit as long as you do it today.
Which “days of the year” do you love or hate? Let me know on Twitter @gertrudeandivy