5 Obscure Fall Holidays to Use in Your Marketing

Several major holidays are coming our way in the next few months. No doubt you’re already ready to make the most of Labor Day, and you’re hopefully already planning for Thanksgiving/Black Friday and the December holidays. But you don’t have to limit yourself to those popular favorites.

There are also quite a few obscure, funny, strange, or downright weird holidays between now and the end of the year. Use them to surprise, amuse, educate, and engage your recipients. They include:

1. Ask a Stupid Question Day (September 28)
Who among us has never asked a stupid question – and then, of course, immediately wanted to dissolve into the floor? This extremely obscure holiday is the perfect antidote for that awful feeling – it’s the day on which stupid questions are not only tolerated but also encouraged. It has roots in encouraging students to ask more questions in the classroom, but definitely has potential for your marketing.

How to make the most of it:

  • Encourage engagement by asking recipients to send you a “stupid question” about your product or service.
  • Ask questions in your subject lines that are both “stupid” and irresistible to recipients.


2. International Skeptics Day (October 13)
Don’t believe the Earth is round? Doubt that two plus two always equals four? Do you need concrete proof of everything that most people accept as given truth? Then this is your major holiday! For most people, though, International Skeptics Day provides an opportunity to poke fun at hard-core doubters. And it offers a bottomless well of creative opportunities for marketers (unless you don’t believe there’s such a thing as a bottomless well).

How to make the most of it:

  • Promote your product’s history of great performance by offering special deals designed “just for skeptics” – like an enhanced, limited-time, no-question guarantee.
  • Flip the script and tell your customers that you are offering a deal that’s so good that you even you are skeptical about it (but you are doing it anyway).
  • Embed a survey in your email that asks recipients if they believe in Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, ghosts – or other topics that most people are skeptical about.


3. Wear Something Gaudy Day (October 17)
The idea for this celebration of colorful, outlandish, glittery, and otherwise far-from-everyday apparel is traceable to Larry Dallas, a character in the sitcom “Three’s Company,” which ran from 1977 to 1984. Somehow, the words a scriptwriter put in the mouth of a fictional car salesman were taken seriously by more than a few people – and now, more than 40 years after the show debuted, Wear Something Gaudy day is still being commemorated.

How to make the most of it:

  • Leveraging it is a natural for clothing retailers who can encourage customers to shop outside their comfort zone to get ready for the “holiday” (or other special occasions requiring a certain level of gaudiness).
  • Drive engagement by having an “At Your Gaudiest” contest that uses customer-submitted photos.
  • “Dress up” the look of your messages with some glitter and glitz on this special day.


4. You’re Welcome Day (November 23)
Marketers are of course very familiar with Black Friday, which is usually the busiest shopping day of the year. And although You’re Welcome Day (which is also known as You’re Welcomegiving Day) has been around since 1977 (according to at least one source) it’s not nearly as famous as Black Friday. But here’s the thing – they happen on the same day. (With that name, it makes sense, right?) If you need a new angle for your Black Friday campaign, this could be it!

How to make the most of it:

  • The words “you’re welcome” are sure to stand out from all the Thanksgiving-week messages referencing gratitude – use them in your subject line to make it pop, and of course, make the payoff worthwhile for recipients.
  • Teach your audience about how English speakers came to use the phrase “you’re welcome” in response to “thank you,” or what the phrase’s equivalent is in other languages. Here’s a place to start your research.


5. National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day (December 16)
This one is a no-brainer, of course, for anyone in a business even remotely associated with desserts, but since everyone loves anything covered in chocolate, it can also work for marketers of other products:

How to make the most of it:

  • Have some fun with some animation and a headline like this: “It’s Chocolate-Covered Everything Day” – click here to cover this message in chocolate!” And when the recipient clicks, presto!
  • Invite your recipients to your social sites to share photos of the most delicious (or interesting) things they’ve covered in chocolate.