Any brand worth its whisky knows that simply hoping for eager consumers to follow the rainbow and find the pot of gold is a waste of time. Brands need to act fast and with a clear purpose to ensure their occasion-based marketing efforts meet the mark. This couldn’t be more true for your St. Patrick’s Day marketing, where consumer spending reaches a frenzied fever pitch.
St. Patrick's Day marketing, it's all about creating fun, helpful, relevant content across all your platforms. In the weeks leading up to the big day, retailers and bars, and even consumers will share food and drink recipes, showcase unique decor ideas, share costume suggestions and more.
As you start laying the foundation for your St. Patrick's Day marketing activations, consider these key St. Patrick's day marketing strategies, trends and examples an opportunity to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Key St. Patrick's Day Trends to follow
GET OUT THERE!
Many consumers will continue with in-person celebrations, whether at bars, restaurants, concerts, or parades. 25% of American consumers planned to attend a party at a bar/restaurant in 2023 and the UK saw a 37% increase in on-premise traffic in 2022 as compared to 2021. Consider an on-premise promotion where you reward consumers who buy a drink at certain establishments or take a selfie and share on social.
COMBINE FOOD & DRINK
Alcohol spend is high on and around St. Patrick's Day, but pairing drink promotions with food will yield higher engagement. 31% of American consumers planned to make a special St Patrick's Day dinner in 2023. Creative food and drink pairings, themed menus, and special promotions can make your brand more appealing to patrons looking for a comprehensive St. Patrick's Day experience. CPG/ FMCG companies should not overlook opportunities to capitalize on St. Patrick's Day. Consider promoting Irish-themed snacks, beverages, and party supplies. Brands can run promotions, discounts, or bundle deals on these items to encourage consumers to stock up for their in-home celebrations. Creative packaging and marketing can also attract attention on store shelves.
BUILD BUZZ, NOT JUST SALES, ONLINE
Online and social remains a valuable channel for engaging with your audience. In the digital realm, it's not just about making a sale; it's about creating buzz and excitement around your brand. To stand out, create new digital experiences and twists on traditional themes to create excitement. Engaging online contests like instant win, sweepstakes and gamification, interactive social media challenges, and immersive storytelling can captivate your audience and make your brand an integral part of their St. Patrick's Day celebrations. For example, you can run interactive promotion activities like a St. Patrick's Day word search, a virtual St. Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt and create and leverage user-generated by incentivizing consumers to share on social media - turning your online presence into a lively celebration hub.
Key St. Patrick's Day Key Statistics
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in over 30 countries across the world with the US, UK and Ireland leading in celebration and spend.
St Patrick's Day is the 3rd 'booziest' holiday in America. In 2023, U.S. consumers planned to spend a total of about $7Bn to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, and nearly 61% of consumers planned to celebrate, up from 54% in 2022.
This uptick suggests that St. Patrick's Day is becoming more popular and widely celebrated across the globe, presenting significant opportunities for businesses and brands to engage with a larger audience during this holiday.
Ireland generates over €70 million in revenue in the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day with with an average spend of €35 - €40 on beer alone.
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated across ages and interestingly 74% of consumers with children celebrate compared with 54% of consumers without children, presenting a larger audience for marketers!
Celebration by demographic
18 - 34: 72%
35 - 54: 68%
The average American spent approximately $43.84 on St. Patrick's Day related items in 2023, up from $42.22 in 2022 indicating that consumers are willing to spend to create memorable St. Patrick's Day experiences. This figure underscores the potential economic impact of St. Patrick's Day and highlights the market's purchasing power during this festival.
One of THE biggest days of the year for alcohol brands.
Daily sales increase
- Beer 174%
- Spirits 153%
In the UK, Guinness saw a record on-trade share of 12.1% in March 2023!
St Patrick's Day is more than just alcohol marketing. Consumers are spending on all things associated with the holiday including food, apparel & accessories, candy and make-up.
Top purchase categories include:
4 tips to see Green this St. Patrick's Day
1. Run Promotions Online
Consumers look online for research and inspiration ahead of making in-store purchases. Step up your game with digital sales promotions (think instant win and sweepstakes) and online experiences (think social sharing contests) that connect with consumers and drive pre-purchase awareness and engagement.
11% Do their St Patrick’s Day shopping online
45% Search online to research in-store purchases
29% Find online retail stores inspiring
49% Head to grocery stores for their St. Patrick’s Day items
2. Support Stores & Distributors
Consumers are back in venues in a BIG way. Combine customer purchase rewards with “stock more, earn more” trade programs.
‘Stock more, earn more’ promotions for bars & clubs
Text-to-enter programs with fast responses
Continuity programs to keep consumers engaged after St Patrick’s Day
Offer financial incentives to retailers that stock more of your products. It’s a win-win situation: you get greater brand exposure and increased sales, the retailer gets a handy discount.
3. Layer food & drink promotions
Combine promotions with partner brands to enhance engagement. And don’t forget about the celebrants staying at home. Create portfolio-wide promotions to enhance sales
Partner with aligned brands
Layer promotions with different tactics and mechanics
Reward on-premises purchases
New product gift with purchase
Combine the immediate gratification of an instant win prize (like a free drink or appetizer) with exclusive, high value rewards (like a brewery tour) to increase engagement and participation.
4. Be Inspirational
Help customers express their individuality. Giveaways, trials, and freebies encourage new routines – whether that’s switching brands or simply buying more – for consumers that want unique experiences, harness digital innovations like the metaverse.
Gamified digital experiences
Reward consumers who share their experiences with your products on social media. 79% of consumers say UGC impacts their purchasing decisions, making it a great way to sell more while letting customers express themselves.
St. Patrick’s Day Promotion Examples to inspire you
Guinness and Carhartt teamed up for a heartwarming ad that reveals the plumbers from The Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Local Union 130 as the ones responsible for dyeing the Chicago River green every St. Patrick's Day, a tradition dating back to 1962. The ad effectively combines Irish nostalgia, gratitude, and community spirit, showcasing the individuals behind the city's St. Patrick's Day celebration.
Burger King gave their customers a chance to get a free order of onion rings with any purchase of $1 or more on their website or app, while 7Rewards members could save $2 when they grab a 12-pack of Hard Seltzer at participating 7-Eleven stores.
Cadbury's "Be a Cadbury Daymaker" campaign, which prioritizes values like kindness and generosity, resonating with the true essence of the holiday and fostering a meaningful connection with consumers.
Get in touch to discover how our customer acquisition, retention, and engagement platform can elevate your St. Patrick's Day promotions.