What is the meaning of groundhog day? It was yesterday on the 2nd of February and mainly celebrated in the US. This annual event is not just based on the film by Bill Murray but is a celebrated cultural day in the United States. So what is the meaning behind groundhog day? Where does it originate and what is the relevance of what you are currently doing with your marketing efforts within your organisation?
A Ground Hog is also known as a woodchuck, a group of rodents of large ground squirrels known as marmots (Sciuridae) and mostly found in low lying areas of North America in particular eastern United States, across Canada and into Alaska. It typically lives in burrows and hibernates during the winter months. The tradition says that if it emerges from its burrow and can see its own shadow then it is the start of spring, as the day is sunny and better warmer weather is on its way. Likewise, if it can’t see it’s shadow then it disappears back into its burrow. Hence the groundhog effect, the day repeating itself.
The meaning of groundhog day
So we did some digging into the traditions intrigued by where the event came from, in our usual geeky analytical way.
So there are two schools of thought. The 1st of which puts the tradition back to the European settlers for what is known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, who emigrated in the 17th and 18th. The Pennsylvania Dutch and Germans came from what is now Germans the Netherlands, Alsace regions of France and Switzerland. They brought the tradition from the Badger which does a similar thing as the Groundhog and came out of its set after hibernating for the winter.
The second school of thought and the meaning of groundhog day is that the tradition dates back many centuries when climates were a lot more stable and predictable than they are now and not affected by global warming. Native Indians of the United States who use many signs from nature to determine what is happening with the seasons also used the Ground Hog to determine the official start of spring.
What is the meaning behind groundhog day the celebration
The meaning of groundhog day is not just a day in the US but it actually celebrated. The celebrations are in the US are focused around a town called Punxsutawney in the south of Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. Punxsutawney celebrates Ground Hog day annually on February 2. Thousands of people usually gather to celebrate the event in the town and lots of external media usually run a story on the event. Guess what it is also still happened in the US this year but in a more socially distanced way? They have a website which can be found here where more details on the event, which starts traditionally at 0630 AM local time in Punxsutawney. There is even a groundhog character called Punxsutawney Phil who is the celebrated groundhog.
Do You Get That Groundhog Feeling?
While many businesses are struggling in these crazy times, and I believe it is definitely harder in the 3rd lockdown, there is plenty of reasons to be optimistic. We all know about the theatre, entertainment, hospitality and travel sectors that are really struggling. There are however signs of growth for those businesses in packaging for example, where there is now a paper shortage in the UK due to the vast volumes of home delivery now taking place. Gym equipment, fitness devices are all doing really well in this environment as everyone is trying to stay fit and well, and if consumers do have money then they are turning to the luxury of food to spend, as there is little else to spend the money on.
Marketing Repeating Itself?
So we have reviewed ‘what is the meaning behind groundhog day’ Just like Punxsutawney Phil where his life is repeating itself in groundhog day, and he is stuck in a circle, is your marketing ‘going through the motions’? Are you really testing the boundaries, experimenting with new creative, channels, or products? Or is your company doing the same old thing? Preparing for your April year-end and reviewing your performance or return on advertising return? What is working for you and how much return on advertising spend are you getting, from what channels? If all these elements are working for you and bringing in the revenue then that is great! However, we have found there is always something you can do. There is always more you can do to really understand your marketing effectiveness and maybe take some of that budget and try something different. New creative, different channel, test some budget in something you have not done before.
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