aXmas and Halloween: Is it Worth Taking Advantage of Special Events?

Holidays like Halloween and Christmas have become global concerns in recent decades, even among those who have no other interest in the concepts behind them. Universities, especially, tend to make a big deal out of the Chinese New Year, simply because the country provides a large number of overseas students, with 139,130 Chinese people resident in the UK alone in 2019/2020.

National Holidays and the Entertainment Industry: A Relatable Ploy

Businesses try hard to represent or at least mention various holidays on their social media pages, as it can open a dialogue with the people that observe those particular dates on the calendar. It’s a marketing trick, first and foremost, but being able to create an emotional attachment between customer and retailer can have benefits for both parties when it actually comes to making transactions.

In entertainment, the perennial need to attract a global audience has led to quite an obvious trend towards celebrating international holidays. To use video gaming as an example, the online game Final Fantasy XIV by Square-Enix includes its own versions of New Year (Heavensturn), Christmas (Starlight Celebration), Halloween (All Saints’ Wake), and Easter (Hatching Tide).

Much the same can be said about Destiny II, World of Warcraft, and many other popular titles. Even single-player game Terrarria has held its own Christmas event in the past. Of course, this observance of just about any holiday isn’t exclusive to video gaming.
Online, interactive media companies like Buzz Bingo run a Halloween campaign each year based on a Spooky Spin, a prize wheel that complements the standard bingo game. In addition, there are themed slot games and editions of live roulette in abundance, so that players can get into the festive spirit within gameplay. Naturally, they aren’t just limited to Halloween, as commercial holidays like Christmas and New Year also influence games, whether it’s as simple as a jingle in a theme tune or basic graphics to allude to seasonal changes.

Evidently, the stereotypical international holidays have crept into gaming content itself as much as they have promotional materials.

International Days of X and Y

The important question to ask, though, is whether every business should take the time to celebrate each day as it comes around. With the rise of International Days of X and Y, it’s almost possible to consider every number on the calendar as a special occasion yet too much of an obsession with the passing days can come across as cynical or even sarcastic to a business’ usual audience.

One of the key reasons that companies of all sizes keep up with annual holidays is that they’re easy to frame social media posts and email campaigns around. A dog grooming business should absolutely create a small marketing piece for August 22nd, the International Day of the Dog, while UNESCO considers September 27th as World Tourism Day, which can be an obvious boon for hotels, transport companies, and national parks.

The best customer/business relationships come about through relatability. Even if the only objective of a social media post is to sell succulents on National Cactus Day (May 10th), shoppers appreciate the fact that the message demonstrates a shared interest in dangerous plant rearing. Opening this kind of dialogue with as many customers as possible is one of the tenets of customer retention, that is, the ability to keep people coming back time and time again.