To National Day or not to National Day – that is the question.

National Awareness Days are a marketers dream; no longer need you think up credible, useful, insightful post to bestow your audience with, no – it’s National Help a Horse Day, sorry I mean, Happy National Blueberry Pie Day / Chocolate Coated Anything Day / Honesty Day / Hug a Plumber Day – so you can just make a post out of that!

Not related to your actual product? Who cares!

There are so many National Days that it would be quite feasible to make every single social post dedicated to a particular awareness day, week or month without too much hassle (or actual thought).

The problem with national awareness days is that brands and agencies are not treating them respectfully, or in some cases, even actually paying attention to what they really are designed to generate awareness of. This is not a blog to dissuade from mentioning national awareness days; I’m just saying be a little bit more selective and respectful of what the day is actually for.

Take yesterday for example: the 19th April was Bicycle Day. Sounds promising? Seems like a good opportunity for a bike retailer, gym, sports teams – hell, anyone who has even the tiniest thing to do with riding a bike – to pitch in with some insightful comment on it! Cue thousands of brands and companies jumping on the hashtag #BicycleDay.

But a touch of due diligence would have informed them that ‘Bicycle Day’ was not what you might think. No, Bicycle Day was a celebration of the first time, in 1943, that Albert Hoffman took LSD whilst riding home (on his bike.) Yeah that kind of ’trip’, not the other kind.

I’m not saying we don’t do it. Trust me, we’ll be the first to pounce on a World Coffee Day, International Day of Boiled Eggs, World Vegetarian Week – because those days are relevant to some of our clients.

But putting up a picture of a puppy because it’s Puppy Day (March 23rd) or someone on stilts because it’s Walk on Stilts Day (27th July) just because it ticks a box for some social content, well…

When deciding whether to jump on a national day it’s pretty straightforward…

Step 1
Check and see if today is an Awareness day / week / month – if yes, move to step 2.

Step 2
Does this particular awareness day have ANY relevance to the audience we are targeting? if yes, move to step 4 if no, move to step 3.

Step 3
Might the audience find it interesting anyway? Would it resonate with them even if it’s not 100% connected? yes move to step 4.

Step 4
Research what the day is actually about before making a decision to post about it.

Some awareness days are brilliant, others are completely redundant and some are designed to drive interest for a particular charity (by the way Purple Day on 26th March is not a chance for you to sell more purple dresses or purple duvets – it’s a charity day for Epilepsy Awareness.) But for the most part your audience couldn’t give a hoot what day it is. They just want to see useful, creative, engaging content that effects them in a positive way.

A little caveat must be placed here for mentioning Nutella Day (5th February if you want to put it in your diary). Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like Nutella.