2020 Marketing Calendar Campaigns

As we kick off 2020, we take a quick look at the key dates to squeeze into your marketing calendar with consumer spending stats and example campaigns.

Posted by Leanne on 22.01.20

Chinese New Year (25th Jan)

Chinese New Year (CNY) is becoming a more prominent feature in many brand marketing calendars, and it would seem with good reason!

Between 2018 and 2019, travel companies saw a 24% increase in bookings from China to the UK and the UK market saw a 70% increase in  CNY-specific product in the UK. This was even bigger at 92% in the US! This makes CNY a real period of interest across travel and retail sectors.

So how have brands been tackling CNY in their marketing?

Well, featuring the Zodiac animals is one sure fire way to tie in your marketing pretty neatly with the holiday. Just check out this cute example from luxury fashion brand, Gucci, for 2019’s year of the Pig campaign.


Another luxury fashion brand that has followed have taken their CNY campaign digital.

Burberry built on the success of B Bounce (Burberry’s first online game launched in October last year), their new game celebrating Chinese New Year features their new character, Ratberry, as well as a world inspired by the wider collection.

In Burberry’s own words, “Burberry has seen a growing appetite for gaming among younger consumers, particularly in China. As interactive digital content is increasingly becoming source of inspiration, Ratberry is another opportunity for consumers to connect with the Burberry community online.”

Building on this defined interest in digital content, particularly interactive, gaming content, other brands could do well to follow suit!

Valentine’s Day (14th February)

Despite 81% of the British public believing that Valentine’s Day is too commercial, GlobalData analysts found the valentines spending market in the UK was worth a whopping £1bn in 2019!

Traditional retailers that focus on valentines such as chocolatiers, jewellers and florists obviously have a lot to gain on Valentine’s Day, but other industries have successfully got in on the celebrations too. With a little creativity you can engage audiences at this romantic time of year and take advantage of the first post-Christmas present giving opportunity of the New Year.

For example, it’s not just their significant others that people are buying for – just shy of 17.5% of people also buy for their cats and dogs! Seems like puppy love is a real spending incentive! 🐶 ❤️ 🐱

And whilst we get that it’s the season of love, it’s important to not forget the single’s out there who will be looking for a respite from all the lovey-dovey ads.

Ryanair nailed this marketing in 2019 with their video showing a single bloke taking advantage of Ryanair’s cheap as chips single fares to get away from all the gooey valentines nonsense.

Mother’s Day (22nd March)

Mother’s Day isn’t just cups of tea and breakfast in bed. It’s cards, beauty, chocolates, jewellery, trips away and so much more as companies from a broad spectrum of industries look to get in on the occasion and consumers look for ways to treat their mother-figures on this special day.

These treats don’t have to be something you can pop a ribbon on. BusinessWire found that fewer consumers made Mother’s Day purchases in 2019 than in previous years, instead favouring quality family time! Isn’t that nice?

With this trend set to continue, brands could do well to target their marketing around days out or fun activities to do together such as recipes, workshops and classes or days out! The National Trust have already got this covered for 2020.

Easter Sunday (12th April)

With the long weekend, Easter is a time for spending and a real opportunity for businesses. The Telegraph heralds the Easter period a much needed boost to the economy, and with 69% of Brits planning on spending, it’s easy to see why.

So how do you get involved?

Of course, you could take a lesson from the pros and create something interactive!

In 2018, Cadbury’s used gamification to boost its Easter campaign on social media. Using a Faceook Live 360 video, players joined for a live Easter egg hunt via their phones! During the one hour live session, the game saw more than 220,000 hunters search the magical, animated world for Easter eggs for the chance of winning one in real life.

No matter your core offering, the Easter Egg hunt is universal. Why not create one, digital or physical, on your site or around your services?

It doesn’t have to be all chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies though; there’s space for companies that aren’t traditionally Easter focused to use the holiday as a platform for their marketing campaigns – just check out Wickes ‘Do it Later’ Easter promotion.

A long weekend break often provides a perfect opportunity to get some home improvement projects off the ground, but UK consumer stats show that 48% of Brits are planning on getting away during the Easter break. Demonstrating an understanding of customer trends, Wickes created a ‘buy now, do it later’ promotional campaign, encouraging their audience to just enjoy the holidays!

UEFA Euro 2020 (12th June)

Another year, another footing-ball competition to get the masses excited!

2020 marks the 60th birthday of the Euros and this tournament is being hosted across 12 cities across Europe.

Sporting tournaments are incredible opportunities for brands to get involved in social media engagements with fans around the world in the lead up to and during the action. And turns out, tickling people’s funny bones can be the best way to get their attention!

A great example of using humour to make a memorable and engaging Euro’s ad comes from Paddy Power’s #VivelaBantz and their Scottish anthem. Though it may seem odd to choose a team that didn’t qualify for the tournament to be the face of their marketing, Paddy Power smashed it with a tongue in cheek rewrite Fat Les’ Vindaloo England football chant for Scotland, showcasing their offering and having a laugh whilst doing it!

Father’s Day (21st June)

At an estimated £653million, spend on Father’s Day is only around half of what UK consumer’s spend on Mother’s Day. But according to GlobalData, last year saw higher growth in all retail areas for Father’s Day, meaning we’re getting out there and spending more on our Father figures than previous years!

Whilst 2019 saw many great examples of touching adverts from the giants you’d expect like Gillette and Moonpig, it also saw a lot of humour.

Dollar Shave Club seemed to take a leaf out of KFC’s marketing guidebook when it came up with this delightfully funny and wholesome ad celebrating the diversity of dad bods everywhere.

Understanding that dad’s can be tricky to buy for, they scripted this great little musical number to promote their first-ever DadBod Gift Set, filled with everything a dad needs for daily grooming, including shave butter, lotions, shampoos, razors and even toothpaste. Manifique!

The Olympics (July 24th)

Along with the UEFA Euros, the Olympics are set to be a big opportunity for brands, regardless of sponsorship status and social seems the way to go. During Rio 2016 we saw the Olympic Broadcast Service work on making the bulk of its content fit for bite-sized social media consumption with Snapchat stories Facebook posts and video content.

This hardly comes as a surprise when we know that during the event a 187 million tweets on #Olympics were recorded, generating 75 billion total impressions on Twitter alone! Facebook was no different and saw 277 million people had 1.5 billion interactions about the Rio Olympics on the platform.


Our favorite was easily Channel 4’s compelling spotlight on the Paralympics, their ‘We’re The Superhumans’ campaign.

Back to School (Late July ~)

Whilst it may not be on your radar, research from Mintel suggests that perhaps it should be.

Besides the obvious seasonal giants of Black Friday and Christmas, Mintel found that spanning late July through to September, back-to-school shopping is worth more than £1bn. This makes it the largest seasonal shopping event ahead of Easter and Mother’s Day!

It goes without saying that students and adults alike will be flooding social media looking for what’s fashionable, what’s new and (in the case of parents) what’s affordable! Be it clothing, stationary, bags and other accessories for students to take with them back to school.

One good example comes from Staples, who took to Twitter with a simple spot the difference competition which simultaneously showcased their products and encouraged purchase by offering the items at a discount in-store if all the differences could be found.

Halloween (31st October)

Whilst traditionally our American friends have always been the big spenders when it comes to Halloween, recent stats show that the UK market is really sinking its teeth into the spooky holiday.

Retail expenditure on Halloween products in the UK, has grown from £419m in 2018 to a whopping £474m in 2019, with £29.2 million of this just on pumpkins (Scary, right? 🎃) proving that Halloween is here to stay and set to get bigger than ever.

2018 saw Fanta claim Halloween as their priority season, as Marketing Manager Rosalind Brown stated, “Fanta is to Halloween what Coca-Cola is to Christmas”.

This continued into 2019 with Fanta releasing Halloween-exclusive Dark Orange!

It’s not just confectionery brands that can benefit from the spooky season as we explored in our Halloween Marketing blog. So jump on board this broomstick and get involved for pre-Christmas marketing wins!

Bonfire Night (5th November)

In 2018, UK consumers burned through £316 million, enjoying Bonfire night.

The night itself isn’t just for heading out to community organised events, but also for home gatherings with 7 out of 10 adults planning to host home celebrations in 2017. So, if you think your brand could sit well at the centre of these gatherings, it’s definitely worth investing in a themed campaign.

Aldi managed to engage customers by expertly blending offers held across the weekend, with fun interactive puzzles across their social channels, these included anagrams, riddles and a “find the emoji” puzzle which gave their social followers a chance to win shopping vouchers. A fun promotional campaign reinforcing the brand’s personality.

Christmas! (November & December)

Well this is a biggie. We all know how important this season is to brands, whether you’re B2C or B2B, it’s the marketing major leagues!

There are blogs upon blogs that analyse, categorise and rate the big hitters and their festive campaigns every year, so we won’t attempt to here.

What we will say though, you don’t have to have the big bucks and a multi-channel ATL campaign to spread the Christmas cheer. Opus Energy, a B2B energy supplier, delivered brand engagement levels of nearly one and a half hours per player with their Christmas advent calendar game campaign, which saw them give away a prize every day from the 1st to the 24th of December.

We also found this DoubleUp blog very useful with its handy guide on key dates including Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and all the days in between, to keep in mind when preparing for Christmas Marketing campaigns!


And that friends, is it. We know there are more and we’ll aim to update the stats and add new seasons to keep this post as relevant as possible. We had fun re-visiting our favourite campaigns and pulling this together, we hope you’ve enjoyed it too. Please share and feel free to let us know your campaign favourites!

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