It is a formal holiday in the USA which takes place on the last Thursday of November. Nowadays it is well-known as a family and food day. You’ll have to dig deep through the gargantuan feast of turkey and mashed potatoes to discover the original roots of this holiday. We’ll make it easier for you — just follow our lead and pick up the best marketing strategy for this occasion.
The history of this holiday goes deep down to the first colonists in America. In 1620 an English ship “Mayflower” from Plymouth reached the eastern shore of the New World. Newcomers struggled with lack of nutrition and surviving skills until local Indians taught them how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants.
In 1621, when Pilgrims got their first corn crop—they decided to make a feast and ask the supportive local tribes to join them as thanks for their immense help. And this was the first example of Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.
For more than two centuries, thanksgiving days were celebrated by colonies and states individually. Until the Civil War broke. People desperately needed some spark of hope to come back to their homes and loved ones to survive through the dark times.
In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
Thanksgiving is family and friends time. Great opportunity to give, share, be thankful for what you have, show some faith and empathy for others. And eat. Plenty and tastefully. So, all the activities will refer somehow to these 4 concepts: family, food, sharing, and thanking. These ideas will pierce through all the marketing activities as well. Get inspired right here right now!
Cooking and sharing meals with family and friends. A big fancy dinner party. Where everybody takes part: doing groceries, decorating, cooking, slicing, munching, mixing, serving the table, and finally—sitting all together, giving thanks and eating.
Traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu includes such dishes as: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, beans, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie.
Volunteering is right in the spirit of this holiday. Giving and sharing with those who have less in life than you. People sign up for food drives or serve the homeless at the soup kitchen.
Thanksgiving Parade. A really big deal in any place in America. But the one in New York—is a legend, lined up with 2 to 3 million spectators on the streets and 50-million television audience. It features marching bands, Broadway theater performers, musical acts, floats carrying various celebrities, and giant balloons shaped like famous cartoon characters. Cooking while watching the Thanksgiving Parade is a tradition itself. Ten seasons of “Friends” show can’t lie.
Watching and playing football. For those who are more couch-potatoes type but big sports fans—there is always a big football game on TV. But also, there is a great tradition among big families or friends—playing football before sinking into sweat pants and stuffing bellies with huge amounts of food. Kids against parents, boys vs girls, etc. The main idea is to have fun all together.
Turkey Trot. For those who dream about an advance activity before a big food challenging holiday—there is a Turkey Trot. These are foot races that are held throughout the country, so you’ll just have to pick the most suitable one for you. To make the most of it—you can dress up in a turkey costume and laugh all the way to the finish line.
Make a Memory Dish. This activity combines food and family concepts. If a person has a meal recipe that’s passing through generations, they can bring it for the Thanksgiving dinner in sweet memory of this family member. For example, Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie.
Break the Wishbone. Kids’ most favorite Thanksgiving tradition. It takes two people to participate. Take the end of the wishbone left from turkey, make a wish, and pull. The other person does the same on the second end of the bone. When it breaks, the person with the biggest part of the bone left—wins. Their wish will come true. Or they will have the first piece of dessert.
The key idea—is to be thankful. For prosperity. For loyal customers. For kind people that surround you. For family and your beloved ones. Send thank you emails, gifts, cards.
Be generous. Arrange volunteering or sponsoring activities. Bring a strong social position to your business by creating an image of a reliable, trustworthy, and caring brand.
Go social, very social. Contests, challenges, prizes, funny hashtags social. Instagram is ready for more “food porn” stuff.
Dress up your business. Bring some festive colors and spirits to your company’s online and offline visuals. Use professionally-looking design templates and patterns for promotional materials.
Needless to say, that core symbols of the holiday are all wrapped around the Thanksgiving dinner menu.
Turkey—roasted, smoked, stuffed, sliced, grilled, but traditionally—just a big stuffed bird from the oven. Funny fact: colonists named turkey any fowl they hunted. Very convenient!
Cornucopia—a horn of plenty. A basket or a box that’s shaped like a horn and full of prolific nature gifts. Traditionally it was made from a goat horn.
Pilgrim Hat—А hat with a big buckle that first colonists used to wear.
Corn—One of the main courses of the first Thanksgiving has certainly won the right to be among the core symbols of the holiday.
Pumpkin—Often comes to a feast in the shape of a pie. Delicious!
Cranberries—First settlers saw the plant with pink blossom and named it a “crane” by the shape of it. And after that cranberries popped out.
Beans—Another gift from friendly locals. Native Americans taught the Pilgrims to grow beans next to corn stalks. To use them as poles for healthy growth. Since then beans are honorable members of the Thanksgiving feast.
Sunflowers—Great color accent for a central table piece.
Autumn Leaves—Refer to the autumn season in general, go well in home decorations, designs, and patterns.
Father’s Day, an occasion to celebrate fatherhood and the father figures role in the society is spread over a hundred different countries. On the third Sunday of June, whichever date it is, families get a perfect seasonal occasion to step outside and throw an open-air, barbeque, picnic or similar fun get-together.
Whether you love beer or not, the Oktoberfest holiday needs no introduction. During the period of the festival, people upload thousands of photos to their social media profiles with event-related hashtags such as #Oktoberfest and #Wiesn to share the atmosphere of the beer festival.
Halloween is the scariest international holiday. And one of the most overdressed. Needless to say, that it’s one of the most intense social media activity days, that can last a week. And the most ‘instagrammable’ one for sure. So, if you don’t want to trick your customers by ignoring the fact of Halloween, you’d better treat them with an outrageous amount of marketing ideas. And candy.