Celebration Marketing That Amplifies Brand Loyalty

Launching campaigns to participate in celebration marketing, that is marketing around events like Women’s History Month or International Women’s Day, is extremely common and builds brand loyalty. Now, brands often use these celebrations as a way to become even more involved with the community. By doing social good, companies associate their brand with something meaningful to their customers and are able to build their brand loyalty among different audiences like the millennial generation.

celebration marketing

Things To Know

Brands who capitalize on these celebrations have to prepare ahead of time. Building a campaign around a central celebration theme is no different than any other marketing plan. It still entails defining the audience, determining goals, research, setting the budget, and working on creative with the right marketing partner.

Andrew Ruditser, Lead Technology Coordinator at MAXBURST, Inc. explains, “Plot these celebrations in your calendar so you know exactly when you should begin your promotion. Then plan your content and tactics that you will use, this way your plan is executed correctly.”

Celebration Marketing In Action

Many brands are using celebration marketing to make a powerful statement because they know that they have the ability to affect consumer behavior. Lindsay Milligan, a Social Media Strategist at Bigbuzz Marketing Group, believes that themed months provide brands with a chance to authentically engage their audience in celebration marketing.

“This is an opportunity for brands to make a personal, emotional connection to their audience with stories that relate to their lives.”

–Lindsay Milligan, Social Media Strategist, Bigbuzz Marketing Group

Many brands continue to use this form of marketing to promote female empowerment. For example, Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day are just two of the celebrations that brands are capitalizing on. Milligan emphasizes, “This is an opportunity for brands to make a personal, emotional connection to their audience with stories that relate to their lives.”

Redefing The Meaning Of Lady

As of 2019, Keds is a 103-year-old sneaker brand aimed solely at women. Their motto, “We are ladies. We are champions. We are Keds.” In honor of the 2019 International Women’s Day, Keds released a new adaptation of their 2016 ad “Ladies First.”6

Their 2019 ad showcases women stepping all over the conventional definition of “lady.”

In addition to the ads that were rolled out, Keds also held a special event in New York where they talked about the importance of women discovering their voice.

Righting Wrongs – International Women’s Day

Research indicates that roughly 41% of advertisements showcase women in a negative light. So for International Women’s Day, Budweiser wanted to create an ad where women would be portrayed in a positive way. Budweiser hasn’t always portrayed women in the most positive way which is why they decided to redo their 1950s ad. As a result, they transformed the traditional housewife featured in the into a strong and independent woman.1

celebration marketing
Image Credit: Here’s How These 12 Brands Are Celebrating International Women’s Day in 2019

Overcoming The Elements

In celebration of Internationals Women Day, ModCloth launched a campaign entitled “Against the Current.” In their advertisement video, ModCloth showcases how four famous women have overcome obstacles to embrace their true selves.

As seen in the ad above, celebrities Halsey, Awkwafina, Hari Nef, and Dascha Polanco conquer the elements to discover their true identity. In addition to this one video, each women did a solo ad where they further discuss how they overcame their personal obstacles. 7

Leading By Example

celebration marketing
Image Credit: Here’s How These 12 Brands Are Celebrating International Women’s Day in 2019

Since 2016, Brawny paper towels has continued to utilize Women’s History Month and International Woman’s Day to create eye-opening campaigns. Their “#StrengthHasNoGender” campaign first aims to celebrate the resilience as well as the strength of women.

During their campaign, Brawny also replaces the traditional Brawny Man on the packaging with a woman. Brawny also has a partnership with Girls Inc., which is devoted to inspiring girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Over the past few years, this campaign has allowed them to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to this nonprofit.

During their campaign, they release videos that feature women who have overcome adversity. The ads focus on women with jobs that are traditionally overshadowed by men. This year, they produced “Generations of Strength.” 2

Making The Most Of The Celebration

celebration marketing
Image Credit: Online Avon Representative Beauty Blog

Avon worked alongside the American Cancer Society to raise awareness for breast health. They launched their “Kiss Breast Cancer Goodbye” campaign on July 29, 2018. Also known as National Lipstick day. This campaign was a lead-up promotion to the official Breast Cancer Awareness month activities which would take place in October later that year.

Ruditser highlights that, “This campaign was a great way for Avon to take advantage of the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

Avon originally created this campaign as a way to promote their lipstick and give back to the community. For every Avon True Color Nourishing Lipstick that was purchased during October, 15% of the price was then donated to the American Cancer Society’s breast health programs.

Practice What You Preach

Josh Wood, CEO, and Kevin Lawson, Internal Marketing Associate, of Ruckus Marketing believe there is a right and a wrong way to utilize celebrations for marketing purposes.

They explained that “…people value honesty from brands more than ever. Brands should be selective about what holidays and themed months they pursue. The ones chosen should be relevant to the brand’s existing personality, otherwise your campaigns may reasonably be accused of turning meaningful celebrations into moneymaking schemes.”

Many people find it frustrating when brands go out of their way to create social campaigns that don’t align with their practices. It’s very easy for a brand to jump on the feminist bandwagon simply out of its convenience.

“…What this does is redefines feminism in a dangerous way – diminishing it down to a tagline. It masks the underlying core problem.”

–Katie Martell

Katie Martell calls this ‘faux feminism’ in marketing and she believes that it has the potential to create a false illusion of progress.3

Martell states, “Profiting from these ideals while embodying or perpetuating the opposite is not clever. It’s exploitation. I call this ‘faux-feminism’. It’s the exploitation of feminism by advertising. What this does is redefines feminism in a dangerous way – diminishing it down to a tagline. It masks the underlying core problem.”4

It’s hypocritical for companies to run campaigns that position themselves as the champions of women, when in reality they have uneven representation or unequal pay.

Celebrations Go Beyond Just Women

Even though this blog has only pointed out celebration marketing related to women, brands have also created a conversation surrounding racial equality and inclusivity with their Black History Month and Pride Month Campaigns.

When thinking about brands that successfully create a conversation, Nike comes to mind for Wood and Lawson.

They said, “Nike has done a good job with Black History Month, unleashing new lines of sneakers each year while also engaging substantively in the national conversation surrounding racial equality. These efforts work because the firm practices what it preaches by funding year-round campaigns supporting the African American community.”


1AdWeek |2 Avon |3 Faux Feminism |4 The Drum|5 Sprout Social |6 Footwear News |7 Billboard

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Nicole Schuster
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