Awareness Days or National Days…thanks to the #s on Twitter these bizarre and eccentric days are fairly inescapable now and many of us are left wondering why on earth there would be a ‘Talk Like a Pirate’ or ‘International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day’.
But why are awareness days created?
There are a few reasons why awareness days exist and generally they are created by brands, providing the perfect opportunity to promote a product, service or issue. Silentnight organised an awareness day called ‘Love Your Bed Day’ as a one-off, but according to Campaign it proved so successful they extended it to a full week the year after it was created.
‘Veganuary’ was set up to encourage people to try going vegan for January. According to the charity (also called Veganuary) in 2018 over 79,000 omnivores took part, 168,542 people signed up to go vegan and the campaign grew by 183%.
Time to Change, who refer to themselves as a growing social movement, want to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. They created ‘Time to Talk Day’ encouraging as many people as possible to have a conversation about mental health. Following their first year, in 2014, they reported that over 1,000 activities were held over the country, 32,000 tweets resulted in them trending for most of the day, and large organisations including Tesco, Lloyds Banking Group and Comic Relief took part.
Clearly, if done well, these awareness days are making an impact.
So how do I create an awareness day?
It’s really easy to create an awareness day. Many large events databases will allow you to add your day for free, and then it’s just a case of promoting it far and wide.
But, before you go running off to register ‘Dog in a Tutu Day’ (which is what the majority of my colleagues in the office would probably like to set up) take a step back and think about your end goal.
As with any marketing, you should always be thinking about your objective. Are you looking to gain brand awareness, customer engagement or sales leads? Is your awareness day going to be relevant to your target market? Will it be something that your customers want to get involved in?
Think about how this would fit into your marketing strategy and then plan it carefully, considering how you will promote it and how you can get any influencers involved to help you spread the word.
If you are after quick and easy media coverage and think it will be as easy as choosing a date in the diary and putting your brand name next to it, you are mistaken. It takes time and effort to make an awareness day successful.
What about getting involved in an awareness day already set up?
Many organisations get involved with awareness days that are already running and this provides a way to get across a key message from your organisation, alongside promoting the awareness day. A win win for both brands.
But, this should be done with caution. It can be seen as a way of piggy backing on another brand’s success if you are randomly getting involved in days that are not at all relevant to your own brand’s visions and values. It can also be seen as distasteful if you are using humorous or novelty content alongside an awareness day that is for a serious issue.
So to sum up…whether you are thinking about getting involved in an awareness day, or looking to set your own up, make sure your reasons for doing so are genuine and relevant to your brand.