Let me be clear, it absolutely isn't ‘World Blog Day’. In fact if I get my way there never will be (until then it’s August 31st). Sorry for the whiplash dear reader, but I have found myself with an axe to grind and a calendar to chop.
There seems to be a ‘world day’ for truly everything these days. I’m not kidding, did you know there is a World Sidewalk Egg Frying Day? It’s a day where we all come together to celebrate the weather being so damn hot you can literally fry an egg on the sidewalk. How are these things decided? What is the criteria? Who is pulling the strings decreeing on which day the world will talk like a pirate? (It’s September 19th by the way). It reminds me of the business that sells stars and sends you a little ‘official’ certificate (an impeccable business model).
Unlike stars in the sky, calendar days however are a pretty finite commodity. Things have got so out of hand that we actually ran out of unique days a long time ago and are being forced to at least double or even triple up. How will you celebrate World My Bucket's Got a Hole, Cyber Security Update, Christmas Day? Don’t even get me started on cordoning off a whole month. Did you know we’re currently in the middle of World Zombie Awareness Month? Don’t forget to wear your grey ribbon in support.
Now while a lot of these days and events are just designed for good fun, increasingly (like all good things) brands are trying to hijack the fun. Some brands are even so blatant that they drop all pretense of cultural origins and will just name a day after themself - Like McDonald’s celebrating ‘World Nutella Day’ in partnership with an exclusive line of Nutella pancakes.
Brands jumping on made-up days isn’t a new thing. Mother’s day, father’s day, valentine’s day. While they may have originally started in good faith, we can attribute their growth to the marketplace. Companies realised it was in their interest to inflate these days, turn them into a cultural moment which they could take a slice out of. Think about when each of these days roll around, the primary driver of conversation and content in the leadup is from brands tying themselves to the occasion. It’s a purely vested interest in promoting the day, pushing for personal gain, far from a selfless bid of goodwill to the community. If you cut out all the branded messages, these days would scarcely exist and probably would have faded from our calendars long ago.
By brands yelling about ‘world this day’ or ‘that day’, it takes away from a lot of really good causes that actually try to use their one time each year to drive meaningful change. Causes like Daffodil Day (Aug. 28th for Cancer research), Mental Health Awareness Week (May 10 - May 16) and World Refugee Day (June 20th). We’re getting overwhelmed with shit excuses of a day celebrations, and having a dedicated day is rapidly losing all value as a result. What’s that, you missed world donut day? Fear not, we've got world desert day coming up next Tuesday.
So if this truly is the wild west, I’d like to declare today is a brand new day - ‘World James Day’. And to celebrate, Mr Franco, Corden, Packer and I are having the day off. Catch you all on Monday.
Words by James Manning, Senior Content Specialist