You’ve probably heard of the “Hallmark Holiday” — a special calendar day, week or month concocted for the purpose of selling something. (For what it’s worth, Hallmark Cards, Inc. denies creating any holiday.)
One of the most notorious of these is Sweetest Day, which was created not by Hallmark but by Cleveland confectioners wanting to sell more candy in October. There’s also National Boss Day, Administrative Professionals’ Day, Grandparents’ Day and the like. If you still have a printed calendar in this day and age, it won’t take you long to find a holiday designed solely for the purpose of making money. (Never mind Halloween and Christmas, which generate plenty of sales despite having more historical significance.)
But look out — marketers are getting more shameless and desperate by the minute. November 5 is Bank Transfer Day. March 26 is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day: a made up holiday devoted to made up holidays.
It gets worse. Did you know March is National Frozen Food Month? Or that September is Life Insurance Awareness Month? It’s not enough to have a day on the calendar devoted to selling your product…now you have to have an entire month?
Why do marketers keep doing this stuff? Because it works. Because we as consumers allow it to work. Think about it: a made-up holiday is a marketer’s dream…they simply find a period during the year when sales tend to slip and then inject an artificial sense of urgency by making up some reason to care about their product right now.
So just remember, the next time you feel an urge to buy frozen food in March, life insurance in September or a Boss’s Day card, remember that someone cooked all of this up just to make you part with more of your hard-earned money.