Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Are There Now Too Many Marketing Stunts That Centre on Dates?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Are There Now Too Many Marketing Stunts That Centre on Dates?

Article excerpt

EDF Energy's unilaterally declared 'Green Britain Day' received more attention from rival energy suppliers than consumers, driving debate that the proliferation of such events has devalued them.


I suppose the proliferation of marketing-led 'events' has been inspired by watching products (and then brands) dominate a particular seasonal demand or occasion for use.

Within the drinks arena, ownership of a consumption moment remains, almost literally, the holy grail of marketing. Remember a glass of sherry at Christmas? Scotch whisky at Hogmanay? More topically, a pint of cider at a summer barbecue?

We can all imagine various brands trying to take ownership of an existing need or occasion in a reactive way. The event-led approach appears to be based on the premise that you can proactively stimulate consumption of your brand beyond its normal demand levels.

Adages about selling ice to Eskimos or shipping coals to Newcastle suggest that, unless there is a need or want either known or currently unrealised, it will be difficult to persuade consumers to take up your offer.

Having said all of that, an event-led strategy with genuine credentials can be an important part of the mix.


Let me start by making it clear that just because it is so-and-so's 'Prune Day', it alone won't make me eat prunes.

A single date is not paramount to a brand's success, just as it is no longer about that single 'big idea'. In the modern world, date-based marketing techniques feel lumbering, manufactured and somewhat obvious.

To succeed, brands need to build and maintain marketing momentum, they must stay nimble, be highly responsive and be everywhere that the customer expects them to be.

Therefore, brands need to develop long-term marketing initiatives which engage the customer, not just 'one-hit-wonder' dates.

If however, a date-based stunt is part of driving the momentum of the overall marketing initiative, and can potentially spike customer engagement, then it has some worth.

But as a list of endless examples shows, if the date-based stunt is literally it, than that brand's days are numbered.


Over-supply is not a problem for consumers, you understand. …

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