— March 16, 2018
Whether it’s wearing green or going to an Irish bar to have a few pints of Guinness, Americans love to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. There are parades and a slew of holiday-related events that take place across the country during the month of March. Based on all of the experiences I’ve had celebrating St. Patrick’s Day since my days at Penn State University and even before then, I think it’s safe to say America enjoys this holiday way more than Ireland does (where it originated).
In this latest ENX2 Marketing blog, I plan on talking a little bit about the marketing that goes into this holiday with some examples of companies who excel at it. But before I begin, it’s time for a little history lesson.
The Origins of St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day might be known as a holiday that revolves around partying nowadays, but its historic purpose was more about remembrance. But, remembering what or more importantly who?
According to history.com (so you know it’s factual), St. Patrick’s Day occurs every March 17 in observance of the death of St. Patrick, otherwise known as the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick died on March 17, 461. He was a Christian missionary who helped spread the religion across Ireland and helped abolish pagan rights. Because of this, he was named a bishop and then the patron saint of Ireland following his death.
History lesson over. Hopefully, you are still with me.
St. Patrick’s Day and Marketing
Each and every holiday, big or small, presents an opportunity for businesses to run marketing campaigns geared toward people who celebrate the targeted holiday. Aside from maybe Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day might be the best example of this.
First of all, not being an Irish-based company does not permit your business from having a marketing strategy gear around the holiday. If you can relate your business to St. Patrick’s Day, then, by all means, do it!
Let’s focus on how a few different businesses have crushed St. Patrick’s Day marketing in the past.
This might be the only Irish-based business I focus on, but I had to do it. In the past, Guinness has done too many things in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day. The long list includes customizing their website with different pages related to the holiday, creating commercial advertisements pulling on the heartstrings of the hardworking American people, and even offering Irish food and drink recipes on their mobile app. If any company has knocked St. Patrick’s Day out of the park, it’s Guinness.
Oh, McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. What creamy and minty deliciousness you have delivered to me and so many satisfied patrons over the years! During this time of the year, McDonald’s pushes all their chips into the middle of the table to market their Shamrock Shake. Over the years, it’s been evident in their social media platforms and television and radio advertisements. The ads are just so darn relatable! Just check out this link to the multiples ads they’ve used in the past. You’ll see what I mean.
To sum it up, McDonald’s goes full court press (a timely reference as we are in the middle of March Madness) when St. Patrick’s Day is nearing.
This one is my favorite. No, not because of the reputation some people believe Spencer’s has, but because this is the place I purchase my annual St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt. I would post a picture, but it would be unbecoming of my image. Sorry!
That’s not the reason their marketing is superb during St. Patrick’s Day. There social media advertisements, which feature various (and sometimes vulgar) St. Patrick’s Day apparel, target nearly everyone. From clothing to phone cases, Spencer’s does not fall short; especially on their Instagram account.