Is your company or brand celebrating a birthday or an important anniversary, and did it occur to you to take this opportunity to create a marketing campaign? First, congratulations, and second, great idea!

Companies and brands use birthdays and anniversaries as a way of self-reflection, turning to the past to highlight their success today. Using important dates, birthdays, anniversaries, and the like, companies raise brand awareness and attract extra attention among the audience through brand marketing.

How do you position your brand and products with marketing anniversary celebrations, avoiding the pitfalls that many companies fall into? Find out below.

When and how should you celebrate special dates?

Celebrating your company’s anniversary or anniversary is just the beginning.

First, we will give one example of when and how to celebrate anniversaries. Let’s say you have a magazine that comes out monthly. What should you celebrate? Hundredth issue of your magazine, but also 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th birthday. Round numbers and birthdays based on the number 5 always go great with the audience. So how to celebrate these anniversaries? Lower the prices of advertising space and fill the magazine with unique editorial content - Top 10 lists and the like.

We can also give you an example of the significant anniversary that fell on its head. McDonald's has decided to celebrate a billion hamburgers sold, an excellent marketing anniversary that focuses on the most famous product (hamburger). The number is round and shows the global success of the brand. But after a while, that number became obsolete, and McDonald's decided to replace the slogan "billions of burgers sold" with "billions and billions of burgers sold", which significantly reduced the effect of the original anniversary.

An anniversary should be a specific number that has meaning for you and your customers. For example, celebrating a billion burgers sold is a strong anniversary; celebrating "billions and billions of burgers sold" is a diluted version that sounds like a typical marketing slogan.

American Airlines is another example of good and less good marketing celebrations of significant anniversaries. They first announced the 40th anniversary of their AAdvantage frequent flyer program, in which they offered 40% more travel bonuses to members of that club. Significant anniversary and a great way to celebrate! But after just a week, American Airlines also promoted its second anniversary - its 98th birthday, during which they offered a limited number of flights for $98.

This presents several problems. First, celebrating the 98th birthday after the 40th birthday of a separate program doesn’t make much sense from a marketing perspective. The number is not round, it is not "catchy" and users will not experience it as much as on their 100th birthday. In addition, marketing space is limited. The program's fortieth anniversary occupied 100% of the marketing space, which was halved by celebrating the second anniversary just a week after the first. In this way, they reduced the marketing potential of the first anniversary, which minimizes the potential of the second anniversary.

Another excellent example of an original and exciting way to celebrate an anniversary is how the Citizen CPR Foundation (CCPRF), a non-profit organization that raises awareness of the resuscitation process, used the 50th anniversary of the CPR to raise awareness of the two people who defined and invented that procedure.

How did they come up with that number? Someone within the association read an article published in 1960 which described the procedure of “closed-chest heart massage” in the Journal of the American Medical Association written by the duo mentioned above.

By doing so, they raised awareness about them and the conference they held at the end of the year. In addition to the children of inventors, the conference hosted 50 people whose lives were saved by this procedure, along with two inventors. Also, the association created and distributed a commemorative booklet telling the stories of all 50 survivors.

The marketing move they made was incredibly successful. Citizen CPR Foundation had a round anniversary; they decided not to celebrate it "administratively", but they made a conference where the focus is on people - deserving of countless lives saved and 50 people whose lives were saved by this procedure.

What lessons can you learn from these examples?

What lessons can you learn from these examples?

There are several lessons we can learn from these examples.

Firstly, take care of the numbers. Each anniversary is based on a round number or a number 5 or 10. This means that you target numbers such as 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, 100th, and the like for a birthday or an anniversary. Also, if you are in the retail business, it is good to mark the anniversary of the sale of your products - the thousandth product sold, for example. The figure should be memorable, and the 50th anniversary has more power than the 52nd anniversary.

Secondly, use the anniversary to look into the past as well. Anniversaries are the perfect time to take a retrospective, give your customers an insight into the beginnings of your brand, everything your company has “survived,” and the like.

For example, if you are celebrating your 20th anniversary, you can mention that your company has survived a global recession and a global pandemic. Throughout the anniversary, you can look back on your humble beginnings, all the crises you have endured, how you have survived, and what awaits you in the future.

Thirdly, be original. Anniversaries are significant because they show customers that you are a serious brand, so take the opportunity to celebrate it in the most authentic way possible. For example, if your brand is celebrating its 20th anniversary, don’t be modest and share one post on Facebook. Instead, create a month to celebrate you and your customers.

This brings us to the last point - always include your customers in your anniversary. When you celebrate your birthday, you don’t celebrate it yourself, do you? So mark your company's birthday or anniversary with your customers. Involve them in the celebration through various discounts, gifts, and opportunities, and also thank them and focus on them - they are the reason why you celebrate the anniversary, and let them know that.

A celebration to remember

You have been given the framework you need to celebrate your anniversary through examples and lessons. When done correctly, they can create strong brand emotions and brand loyalty among your customers, raising brand awareness among people who do not know about your brand and, ultimately - higher profits. To put it simply, celebrating anniversaries is free PR and an opportunity to create a great marketing campaign. Don't miss this opportunity.

Selected works