Fake Holidays, A Modern Media Age Business

By Nethani Palmani | Apr 06, 2017 01:31 PM EDT

The National Day Calendar fills an odd niche, serving as a compendium of novelty holidays for those in the broadcast industry desperate for ideas to fill airtime. (Photo : Carl Court / Getty Images)

The origin of many product-focused holidays trickled out of local and national proclamations, unsurprisingly, come from conspiratorial corporate marketing. Obscure fake holidays spread like wildfire on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, almost becoming a significant part of the modern media age.

It all dates back to 2013, with one man named Marlo Anderson who started it all, according to The Daily Dot. Anderson of North Dakota started archiving fake holidays at one central hub, National Day Calendar as a fun hobby. Soon, it became a job.

The site sends out regular media alerts to nearly 20,000 press outlets and entertainment figures on its mailing list. The enormous reach has made Anderson the de facto czar for silly fake holidays. "We rose to this authority, and people started asking if they could register new days with us," Anderson says. 

According to Anderson, most of the registered fake holidays have existed for decades but were never particularly relevant. However, that seems to be changing as the fake holidays are trending on Twitter and other social media sites. In fact, massive brands like Jack in the Box and McDonald's are incorporating National Hamburger Day into their daily marketing blitz, according to the Vice.

Today, the National Day Calendar is one fully commercialized institution. Anderson receives roughly 18,000 applications a year, which he monetizes, and at least 30 fake holidays out of all are turned into "National Days." His customers are usually non-profits, and certainly involves a corporate motive.

On the side note, Anderson is not a government agent, and he doesn't wield any licensed dominion. These National Days are not nationally recognized either, but that seems to matter very little to people who fancy catching on some kind of viral fire through social media sites.

It's the viral marketing strategy of the fake holidays that drives customers to Anderson. The boosting business has made him become the president of Zoovio, a company that digitizes VHS tape libraries, and Awesome 2 Products, a local computer repair outfit near his native Mandan.

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