Stop already!

Haven’t we been through enough these last few months without blooming Blue Monday?

Will the 18th of January – this year’s ‘designated’ day of gloom – even be a thing considering we’ve already endured a barrage of ‘unprecedentedness’?

I guess we can’t argue with the math / ‘science’.

Blue Monday – falling on the third Monday in January – is supposedly based on a complex algorithm as follows:


W=weather, D=monthly salary, d=debt, T=time since Christmas, Q=time since failing New Year’s resolutions, M=motivation levels and Na=the feeling of need to take action.

It’s calculated to represent the time of year when we’re most likely to feel the blues having blown all our cash on Christmas and we’ve been a little bit hopeless at sticking to our new year’s resolutions.

It was born out of a marketing stunt by Sky Travel, which claimed the discovery of an equation that could predict the most depressing day of the year.

While the science – or rather pseudoscience – is very questionable, it got us thinking.

Thinking about how marketing really has helped shape our lives.

So instead of letting Blue Monday become a self-fulfilling prophecy – and who can blame us for being a little down in the dumps at this time of year if we really want to be? – we thought we’d lighten the mood with some marketing marvelousness!

Let’s celebrate our sector for its cracking creativity and showcase how it really can connect and make a difference.

Before we do let’s just delve more in Sky Travel’s Blue Monday campaign – we definitely don’t endorse the use of unsubstantiated science to make claims, by the way.

Back in 2005 a press release was issued on behalf of Sky Travel in which a tutor from the Centre for Lifelong Learning, a further education centre linked to Cardiff University, claimed to have calculated the most depressing day of the year.

Tutor Cliff Arnall came in for rather a lot of flak for this and later said he never intended it to be negative but rather to ‘inspire people to take action’.

There’s no doubt the theory behind it is somewhat ridiculous, however here we are 16 years later Blue Monday firmly in the calendar and Sky Travel is still getting a mention.


Here’s our pick of some of the world’s most influential and effective marketing campaigns which have undoubtably helped to change behaviour and experiences.


1. Christmas may be so last year, but we have Coca-Cola to thank for the jolly, rotund and rosy cheeked Santa Claus who helps makes the season magical for millions around the globe.

Before illustrator Haddon Sundblom put his pencil and paints to this iconic image, the soft drinks brand’s Santa was much more severe in appearance and lacked spark and warmth.

This new merry Santa, who preferred Coke to milk and cookies, helped to lift the spirits of Americans crippled by the Great Depression.

And even to this day there are many who say they don’t feel ‘Christmassy’ until they’ve heard the chimes of Coca-Cola’s ‘Holidays are coming’ TV advert.


2. Are chrysanthemums or chocolates a girl’s best friend?


Do you propose to the love of your life with a ruby ring?

No, because in 1947 an ad agency hired by De Beers came up with the slogan ‘A diamond is forever’ and the gem became a symbol of eternal love the world over.


3. Ever wondered why we have orange juice at breakfast?

It grew from an idea by a US advertising agency to help solve a surplus citrus conundrum.

They were approached by the California Fruit Growers Exchange who were picking far more oranges than people wanted to buy.

The agency rebranded the group of growers under the name of Sunkist and helped them promote a new use for the fruit – orange juice.

They even taught people how to squeeze them correctly and sold juicers to do it. Genius.


4. When it comes to iconic TV advertising Guinness’s Surfer ad is dubbed one of the greatest of them all.

Based on the simple brief ‘to get the brand growing faster’, it was inspired by the 1890s painting ‘Neptune’s Horses’ by Walter Crane.

It begins with a surfer looking longing out to sea, waiting, just waiting for the perfect wave.

Giant ghostly horses and a soundtrack to echo the blood pounding in the surfer’s head makes it one of the most memorable advertising campaigns of the 20th century.

It seeded the Guinness slogan ‘Good things come to those who wait’ and reportedly led to a 12% increase in sales. Cheers to that.


5. ‘Nike: Just Do It’ didn’t just shift a shed load of trainers.

It was an inspiring rallying call for those who wanted to exercise but just couldn’t quite make it and those who wanted to push themselves further.

It was and still is the answer to those doubting inner voices we can all relate to.

In other words, just slip on the trainers and get on with it.


No matter what the product is, all of the above have one thing in common; they connect with consumers on an emotional level and identify a solution to a customer problem.

And that’s our job.


Creating story-telling client campaigns which reach out and resonate with audiences for years to come.

We think this pretty much sums it up…

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.”
Seth Godin


If you’d like us to tell your stories through the medium of marketing, get in touch.

We’re an ethical, integrated creative agency providing results-driven project and campaigns to our clients across a wide range of industries and sectors.

Our expertise spans all marketing disciplines including strategy and research, public relations, design, digital, print production and signage.

Find out more about working with us at

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