Blue Monday

Blue Monday (the third Monday of January), is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year.

Looking outside, the weather in January is usually dull, grey and either raining or very cold.  Not weather to make you want to jump around for joy.

Also, there can be problems with post-Christmas debt, and our own disappointment at not sticking to new year’s resolutions.

The history of the day is that a psychologist, Cliff Arnall, back in 2004 was asked to come up with a ‘scientific formula’ for the January blues, by a now defunct, UK holiday company advert.

There is no scientific evidence to support the idea at all and many experts dismiss it, because it trivialises depression.

In reality, it is very unlikely that there is a reliable set of external circumstances that cause depression in a whole population on the same date every year.

However, it is a fact that some people’s mental health is affected by seasonal changes is true, and this is Seasonal Affective Disorder, known as SAD. It is also true that many of us feel low when the weather is disappointing.

Over the years, the media have continued to make lots of references to the original depressing version of the day, despite it not having any scientific credibility.

But, recently, many companies all over the world have made Blue Monday a target for their PR, in a different way – mostly in an attempt to spread some joy and positivity as a distraction after the post-Christmas lull.

  1. Many businesses use Blue Monday for financial gain, and sell one-day-only promotion deals.  One company ‘Pretty Little Thing’ launched a campaign called, ‘don’t be blue, we got you’ where they gave their customers 20% off all of their products.
  1. 02 music asked customers to tweet songs with the word ‘blue’ in the title. Winners were selected and awarded free gig tickets.
  1. Tesco wanted to show support for the UK’s obesity crisis, so opted to promote healthy eating by treating Blueberry Monday. Blueberry smoothie stations were set up in store to provide customers with complimentary fruit smoothies.
  1. The Samaritans have rebranded Blue Monday to Brew Monday, encouraging people to have chats over a cuppa. The charity Rethink wants to raise the awareness of mental health, so they have changed Blue Monday on its head asking people to wear their brightest clothes on Bright Monday.
  1. In 2021, brewery, BrewDog and Gourmet Burger Kitchen created Blue Monday initiatives to increase their brand awareness and footfall by giving away a free beer when you bought lunch, and free burgers.
  1. Create a competition linked to your business. If you have a product, ask customers to photograph themselves with the product – best picture wins something; create a recipe using your products – best recipe wins some extra products etc. Involve people in sharing photos of your social media.
  1. Offer free shipping for products on Blue Monday.
  1. If your businesses web based, why not create your own BLUE person or people, ie. Best Loyal User(s) Ever, and recognise them for the day.
  1. Unable to think of any ideas for your company – why not name The Samaritans as your charity of the year?
  1. Why not for each product bought, you make a Blue Monday donation to the charity of your choice?

What ideas can your company come up with for Blue Monday marketing?

Next week’s blog is about National Handwriting Day.