Sometimes, on random days, you just feel like celebrating.
And there are also the big occasions that are always part of every year – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, and Valentines’ Day, maybe? You name them.
While these light up towns like crazy with big discounts and events here and there, there are also prominent days observed in some parts of the globe that do the same magic.
But no matter where they’ve come from, holidays have been etched in the cultures of their respective territories. After all, they trace their roots to religion, tradition, social initiatives, and stories from back in the day.
Or so we thought.
Did you know that some holidays actually came as products of marketing ideas?
In the United States, they actually have a term for them – “Hallmark holidays” which, as Urban Dictionary defines, are holidays created merely just to sell cards and other novelties for the occasion. Allegedly these were the brainchildren of greeting card company Hallmark, a rumor which CEO Don Hall Jr. denied, according to a report by The Guardian.
Some days considered to be Hallmark Holidays, as named by Business Insider, are National Boss Day, Ferris Wheel Day, Tax Day, and so on.
While a number of these so-called ‘Hallmark Holidays’ seem to be fairly obvious, there are also other events and ‘holidays’ born of marketing origins being celebrated in different parts of the world.
Many of which are quite far of being slapped with the ‘Hallmark’ label as they are more known to be just happy ways to revere things in life, such as romance, or even singlehood, but unbeknownst to merrymakers, these special days, too, have their own marketing story to tell.
Let’s unravel some of them:
Single and loving it? This day’s probably for you.
While some label themselves as “happily in a relationship”, some are happily single, too, and a certain holiday from China celebrates that.
Marking November 11 (11.11, one-one-one-one) as its territory, Singles Day came as an “Anti-Valentines’ Day” which began when students at Nanjing University started to celebrate their joy of being single, according to an article in The Telegraph UK.
Now, you may be more familiar with Singles Day being more as a shopping holiday. After all, it was named as “the biggest commerce day in the world” beating out Black Friday and Cyber Monday in a Fortune article. How do they connect?
The Telegraph UK report narrates that in 2009, Jack Ma’s e-commerce company Alibaba saw potential in that 11/11 day and started offering discount deals for Singles Day. That endeavor turned out to be a great success in the market which led the company to trademark the holiday and dub it as the 11.11 Global Shopping Day.
As more and more are riding the K-wave, South Korea’s customs and practices are also capturing interests from different parts of the globe.
With that, it’s no wonder that many people outside the country are also aware of Pepero Day and its celebration on the 11th of November.
In a nutshell, it’s like a local Valentines’ Day but instead of cards and chocolate heart boxes, people exchange chocolate-dipped biscuit sticks, Pepero being a popular brand, with friends and/or significant others.
Many stories and myths surround the special day, one being about obtaining a skinny body, just like the biscuit stick, when you eat Pepero on November 11 at 11:00 am. Such was influenced by one of the origin stories of Pepero Day, which tells about two female middle school students who exchanged the snacks in 1983 with the hopes of achieving a “tall and thin” form.
This tale that became trendy among schoolgirls sparked an idea for Pepero manufacturer Lotte to widely promote November 11 as Pepero Day beginning in 1997 which indeed did wonders afterward– 65 percent of Pepero’s annual sales is credited to the holiday.
Black Friday is indeed known as a big shopping holiday right after Thanksgiving in the USA.
While it’s an obvious avenue for retailers to market their goods, have you ever wondered how Black Friday came about?
History Channel reveals the true story behind the holiday, recounting that the term “Black Friday” was used by Philadelphia’s police in the 1950s to refer to the outpour of tourists and shoppers into the city for a big football game being held annually there.
For years, it gave off a negative meaning as the phenomenon meant extra-long work hours for police enforcement given the crowding, traffic, and highly possible occurrences of shoplifting.
But in the 1980s, local retailers were able to turn the tables around and bring a positive image to Black Friday.
Nowadays, people are more familiar with this meaning of the holiday, which was actually the end-product of the retailers’ efforts, according to History Channel: “after an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”) stores would supposedly earn a profit (“went into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving”.