The Real Reason We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Each year, over half of all Americans take to the streets for parades and pub crawls while dressed in illustrious green garments to celebrate St. Patrick Day. It’s not only a time for friends, family, and community to join together for drinks, it’s also a major opportunity for brands to capitalize through creative holiday marketing. The funny part is, brands and party-goers alike have little knowledge of the origins of this Irish celebration, yet it has risen to become a multi-billion dollar investment for the country. Let’s take a closer look at how St. Patrick’s Day evolved to the status it holds today, as well as how digital agencies are taking advantage of the day through extensive holiday marketing campaigns.
Evolution Of St. Paddy’s Day
St. Patricks Day is a Christian feast day for St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Though his existence is based in historical fact, there are many legends surrounding the figure which formed over time. After escaping a tumultuous upbringing where the young man was kidnapped and forced to work in servitude as a teenager, he eventually made it his life’s work to spread Christianity among the Irish. By the time St. Patrick passed away on March 17, 461, he had helped create schools, monasteries, and churches, using the iconic Shamrock “three leaf clover” to express teachings of God.
Though the primary color of St. Paddy’s Day used to be blue, once Irish emigrants settled in the United States, the sacred holiday became more of a secular tradition for a sense of community and pride, rather than religion. While many of the 36.9 million Irish citizens still attend church to pay respect to the patron saint, the inclusion of music, drinking, and parading have transformed St. Paddy’s Day into a frenzy of fun. Since Boston held the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737, the festivities haven’t stopped, with some cities such as Chicago taking it to the max by dyeing the Chicago River green each year. Such an event draws huge crowds full of all age groups, spending close to 5.9 billion dollars each year, and that’s precisely the moment where savvy digital agencies strikethrough holiday marketing.
How Brands Take Advantage
Implementing a holiday marketing campaign for a well-known event such as St. Patrick’s Day is similar to how brands would change their marketing strategies per season. For instance, a few easy ways to let your audience know that you’re in the holiday spirit would be changing your social media profile pictures green, sending special seasons greetings, or posting an article about the big day. For other brands, however, it may be more advantageous to take things further, especially for products related to St. Patrick’s Day already.
Knowing that the holiday is such a huge drinking occasion, prominent alcohol brands like Jameson Irish Whiskey and Guinness host special giveaways, discounts, and challenges each year to boost their sales even further. For example, Jameson unveils a new, limited edition bottle of their product each year to set themselves as the go-to whiskey captain. While on the other hand, the holiday marketing campaigns of Guinness have utilized smartphone applications to gift users points which can be redeemed for special rewards each March. These are just a few examples of the green wave that hits thousands of brands each year, eager to get a piece of the attention from this awesome holiday. Our digital agency doesn’t underestimate the importance of celebrating this holiday one bit, because whether or not your brand is related to Ireland, it’s important to stay current in the conversation. Seasonal or holiday marketing during this period can transform your quarter one into a massive success, so it’s not at all surprising why so many companies are joining in on the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.