I love birthdays. And nobody has a bigger celebration than a friend of mine whose birthday is coming up this week.
She does it right. Fireworks. Parades. Picnics. With hundreds of people. In fact, people all over the United States -- including you, I bet -- celebrate her birthday. Of course, most of them don't know they're celebrating it. It's July 4.
My friend says that when she was a little girl her father always took the family to the fireworks display in her hometown by announcing it was time to go celebrate her birthday. For years, she believed him. She really thought all that hoopla was in her honor. How cool is that?
Keep Santa Away From My Birthday
For someone living in America, I think July 4 would be the best birthday possible. Sort of the polar opposite (pun intended) of having your birthday on Christmas.
Think about it. It's always a festive day. You can always be part of a big celebration without having to do any of the work of putting it together. You and most of your friends probably already have the day off. And everyone's ready to celebrate.
You have your picnic, watch the fireworks, collect a little loot and everyone goes home happy. And you can always find a free party to go to -- even if you're going through one of those dumpy times of life when you’re depressed and don't have any friends.
At Christmas, everyone's uptight. They "combine" your birthday present with your Christmas present -- which means you get cheated on the birthday loot. Nobody except immediate family is going to come to a party celebrating your birthday on your birthday. And it's cold outside unless you live in a place like Los Angeles, Miami or Australia.
People seem to have a love-have relationship with their birthdays. They like the attention. But they don't want to get older. I remember telling my oldest son on his 21st birthday that it was the last birthday he would look forward to. He agreed with the concept. But he corrected me on the details. He was looking forward to being 25 because his car insurance would be cheaper. Now he's pushing 40. I don't think he's looking forward to that.
Barbie with Wrinkles and Hot Flashes?
But birthdays aren't just for people. Celebrating the birthday of your company, brand or the products you sell is an excellent branding strategy that can generate positively rated media impressions repeatedly.
People mark the passage of time by annualizing events and celebrating birthdays. Your company or your brand can do the same thing. It builds consumer loyalty and trust. Consumers put faith in long-lasting, tried and true companies and brands. They need to be reminded of how
long you've been there for them or how durable your product has been.
Barbie turns 50 next year and she's already getting good press about that.1
Hot Wheels has gotten more than six million impressions about its 40th anniversary this year. And Corvette and Model T cars get favorable media coverage for annual celebrations every year.
Take a look at the Model T bar on the chart. Wine and cheese aren't the only things that get better with age.
1Google News (print/online data) from 5/29/2008-6/29/2008.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jerry Brown committed journalism for 20 years, but received a full pardon. He's been
practicing public relations for more than 20 years and plans to keep practicing until he gets it right -- which he hopes takes a long time because he
likes what he does. He specializes in strategy and message development, media relations and media training and writing (news releases, annual reporters,
collateral, etc.). He also writes the Monday Morning Media Minute, a free weekly media tip distributed
by e-mail. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org / 303-781-8787.
[PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION]