Marketing Advertising Travel

Has Blue Monday's credibility melted?


By Dan Grech, Marketing Consultant

January 21, 2013 | 3 min read

If you left the house or went online today, chances are high that you were exposed to an advert promoting a product that would cure your Blue Monday: what is supposedly the "most depressing day of the year".

Those ill-informed should know that this is nothing more than a marketing spin invented by travel agents to sell holidays.

Blue Monday was coined in 2005 by the PR agency working with Sky Travel. Deeming January to be sad due to post Christmas poverty coupled with absolutely miserable weather makes the concept pretty plausible. Even psychologist Cliff Arnall circulated a "formula" that cements this theory. In turn, Arnall soon lost all of his science friends at Cardiff University for being so silly!

But as years go on, will we get less gullible? There is clearly no room for anymore Hallmark-esque days with the dominance of Valentines day (my least favourite) and the often sometimes communication-provoking Mothers and Father's Day that might prompt us to pick up the phone as well as send a card (maybe).

It seems more apparent year after year that social networks are allowing thought leaders to dispel these myths. Ironically, some brands such as Innocent Drinks took to their Facebook to defame this pseudoscience. In return they received a minor backlash for doing so through one of their marketing channels (followed shortly by a post adopting a Blue Monday spin, might I add).

Do you think marketers need to be more intelligent with how they influence

consumer's behaviours? Or, do you think that despite background of this con, you felt pretty depressed with the need to book a trip abroad?

Personally, I'm much more satisfied with travel agents putting vacations into people's minds as opposed to what Google and Facebook could do with my personal data. Although reading the Metro today I could suffer from vacationitis (a disease suffered from not relaxing on days off). I feel I'm better off quitting my job, bidding farewell to society and moving to join an Amazonian tribe.

Follow Dan on twitter @dangrech.

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