Every day, it seems like someone is celebrating a new, off-beat holiday. Unlike the federal or state holidays, these national holidays are not exactly like they sound. For decades, national holidays have been anything from cause recognition to celebrating popular food items like pizza, donuts, and coffee, a little-known event or person, recognition for a special cause, or something entirely odd that turns heads. Accompanied by a hashtag and countless tweets and posts, people are seen celebrating days like National Pizza Day as if it were a universal celebration that’s existed since the beginning of time. These national holidays aren’t just celebrated by individuals anymore – they’re also celebrated by brands and marketing departments everywhere.
The opportunity to recognize a national day allows brands to promote awareness and encourage engagement from fans and non-fans actively participating in the conversation. With a little creativity and ambition, any brand can jump into the conversation on almost any national day and make it their own. For what to do on these national holidays, there is the low-hanging fruit to start. Say you have a bakery, you can give away free cookies for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on August 4. Or maybe you have an IT company. Then celebrate National Computer Security Day on November 30 by sending out emails or social media posts about cybersecurity best practices (and maybe some hilarious examples of worst practices, too).
Those ideas are certainly on the nose. Maybe your competition is already doing something for your industry or product’s national day, and you want to one-up them. This is where you can insert some creativity and fun to create a unique experience that goes beyond just handing out a few free products. For instance, it would be obvious for Dunkin’, the well-known coffee and donut franchise, to give away free donuts on National Donut Day, so what do they do instead? In 2016, Dunkin’ used Snapchat and Facebook Live to host several events leading up to the big day. On June 1, they hosted donut design and frosting lessons with their culinary team and a Q&A session with their director of R&D. On June 2, their brand manager live-streamed himself making donuts from mixing to glazing. Then on June 3, they released Dunkin’ branded geofilters on Snapchat that you could only access at one of their stores, not only getting people to order but encouraging them to share their experience with their audience, driving up interest.
Where did national days come from?
There was no official inauguration of the national day calendar that exists online today, but national days have been initiated by ordinary people, politicians, lawmakers, and even a few presidents. So, where did the other national days come from? If your guess is brands and their marketing departments, you’re actually kind of right. Many of these national days, weeks, and months do come from marketing departments and brands, as well as individuals bringing awareness to brand-relevant items or causes, but some are created by organizations to bring awareness to important causes, and others are created by individuals with an over-the-top love for certain foods and things. Have you heard of Talk Like a Pirate Day?
Along with the national days many celebrate, national weeks and months have joined the calendar, too. For example, March is National Women’s History Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month (which we celebrate on a daily basis), and National Nutrition Month, just to name a few.
Why should brands promote national days?
Celebrating something like National Grilled Cheese Day (April 12) may seem silly, but it brings people together by creating conversation on social media, in the local and national news, or getting people to take interest in your company. By joining the conversation, brands can increase awareness and promote services, products, causes, and more. Take a look at how we at Hot Dog Marketing embraced Client’s Day on March 19.
There are many national days where marketers or brands simply can’t bridge the gap and create relevance. However, with some brainstorming and clever twists, brands can celebrate a great number of these national holidays. Be aware of the national days in advance by putting them in an editorial calendar and start thinking about ways to engage audiences and connect them to your brand.
Take a look at some unique National Days happening throughout the year:
January 2 – National Personal Trainer Awareness Day
January 6 – National Technology Day
January 10 – National Cut Your Energy Costs Day
February 9 – National Cut the Cord Day
February 19 – National Lash Day
February 22 – National Margarita Day (I feel like this one should come more often)
March 2 – World Teen Mental Wellness Day
March 11 – National Worship of Tools Day
March 29 – National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day
April 4 – National Equal Pay Day
April 5 – Child Help National Day of Hope
April 7 – National Beer Day
April 11 – National Pet Day
April 15 – National Titanic Remembrance Day
April 20 – National Get to Know Your Customers Day
Throughout the month of April, celebrate National Internship Awareness Month and Stress Awareness Month.
May 4 – National Star Wars Day (as is “May the Fourth be with you.” Get it?)
May 5 – National Skilled Trades Day
Third Friday in May – National Bike to Work Day
June 15 – Nature Photography Day
June 21 – Go Skateboarding Day
June 21 – National Selfie Day
July 5 – National Workaholics Day
July 15 – National Gummi Worm Day
July 31 – National Avocado Day
August 10 – National Lazy Day
August 15 – National Leathercraft Day
August 26 – National WebMistress Day
September 10 – National Swap Ideas Day
September 13 – Day of the Programmer (256th day of the year)
September 15 – National Online Learning Day
First Friday in October – National Manufacturing Day
October 4 – National Golf Lover’s Day
October 20 – Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day
November 1 – National Family Literacy Day
November 16 – National Fast Food Day
November 17 – National Take a Hike Day
December 8 – Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day
Second Friday in December – National Salesperson Day
December 23 – Festivus (a holiday for the rest of us!)
How can you get a national day on the calendar?
Contrary to what people might think about inking national days on the national day calendar, it’s not as easy as simply claiming your own day. In order to register a national day on the widely-recognized national day calendar, you must go through an approval process by filling out and submitting an application to a committee. Recently, it was implied that in order to register your national day, you must pay a hefty fee. While the committee receives over 10,000 applications every year, they only accept an estimated 25 new ones each year. Recently, the registration process became limited to agencies and companies only, due to the influx of submissions.
Although most national holidays are silly recognitions simply filling squares on the calendar, some (especially weeks and months) promote real causes important to brands and individuals celebrating their recognition. Whether it’s National Peach Cobbler Day (April 13th) or National Earth Day (April 22nd), these days create conversation and opportunity for brands to engage with audiences and further build a relationship to keep them coming back for more.
Hot Dog Marketing helps expert service providers and tech companies build their brands at the same rate they’re growing their businesses. We have deep expertise in branding and online marketing for both business-to-business service companies and local consumer service businesses.