Monday the 15th of January will (apparently) be the most depressing day of 2018 – Blue Monday. This marketing campaign was the creation of Sky Travel, who submitted a press release in 2005 claiming the discovery of an equation that could predict the most depressing day of the year. It took into account a whole number of variables, including debt, weather, and motivational levels. The equation looks impressive enough, but is undoubtedly, unequivocally and unambiguously unscientific.
However, Blue Monday can teach us a lot about marketing.
- Blue Monday connected with people and their experiences. Who doesn’t feel a little out of sorts during the bleak midwinter?
- Blue Monday was easy to remember. Lots of companies have got on board with the concept, handing out freebies and engaging sympathetically with their customers.
- It’s a catchy hashtag and has spawned multiple others. Even the Samaritans have launched a #BrewMonday fundraising campaign.
While we would never endorse using false science to substantiate your claims – The Guardian complains about it here and here and here – we heartily celebrate the creativity and novelty factor that Sky Travel created. Thirteen years on we are still moaning about Blue Monday – and Sky Travel keeps getting a mention.
That’s marketing that sticks.