Marketers have long been taking advantage of holidays and all of the gifts, toys, and candy that comes along with them. Valentine’s Day is blamed on Hallmark, yet every February 14th Americans still feel the need to purchase sappy cards and chocolates to remind their loved ones they are in a relationship, and people who don’t believe in Jesus have been celebrating Christmas for years. And with today being Easter, I began thinking about what advertising pushes I had seen recently.
I’ve always wondered when a cartoon rabbit became associated with Easter – if anyone could answer that question for me, it would be greatly appreciated. I assume it’s simply another marketing plot that got adopted by companies across the nation; but I could be wrong, maybe there really is a deeper meaning to the animal with big, floppy ears carrying a basket of eggs. (The eggs are another Easter phenomenon that perplexes me.)
It seems to me that Easter campaigns usually try to hit the emotional chord of parents. Good thinking: a mother is watching her favorite soap opera the week before Easter Sunday and sees a Walmart commercial that makes her remember egg hunts her parents organized for her brothers and sisters. And she is reminded that at Walmart, her family can “save money and live better”, so while she’s there she should probably get little Emily a new Easter dress.
I find it important to remember that holidays are generally exploited by advertising, and understandably so; it is a huge market that should be taken advantage of. Without Easter, where would Peeps be? Being blown up in microwaves by little boys, I suppose. I saw an interesting campaign by Hasbro, reminding parents that Easter baskets can (and should) contain more than just chocolate bunnies; a new version of Candy Land is always appreciated!
I wonder what campaigns we will be seeing next Easter and I wonder what agency is going to come up with a new, exciting way to remind parents that Easter is definitely one of the best holidays to spend money on. (Hopefully, I’ll be working at that agency!)
Just another celebrity hangin’ out with the bunny: