November 11, 2011 by staff 

11.11.1111.11.11, Marketers are betting on a daily numbers game again, taking advantage of a calendar coincidence to drum up interest in their goods and services. The date on Friday will be Nov. 11, 2011, and the triple play of elevens – being rendered as 11/11/11, 11-11-11 and 11.11.11 – is inspiring a commercialized celebration on Madison Avenue.

There are advertisements, promotions, events and even a party to be hosted by an agency named, yes, Eleven. The fact that Friday is also Veterans Day in the United States seems to be generating additional campaigns for 11/11/11 because it is the first time since 1/1/01 that a date with repeating numbers is a holiday, too.

For instance, the date of 11-11-11 is prominently displayed in ads for a Veterans Day initiative sponsored by the Papa John’s pizza chain to raise money for the USO. Ads that hinge on a special date are an example of a marketing tactic called borrowed interest, in which advertisers try to involve themselves in big, topical events that the proverbial “everyone” is talking about.

It is the hucksters’ equivalent of candidates far down on the ballot attempting to win by riding the coattails of those at the top of the ticket. Some marketers have become known for repeatedly running campaigns that seek to borrow interest from the news of the day, the foibles of celebrities or other goings-on that are being followed by millions of consumers.

Among them are brands like Papa John’s, Kenneth Cole, Taco Bell and Spirit Airlines. For example, Spirit struck again this week, offering on its site, spirit. com, a promotion inspired by a headline-making paternity suit against the singer Justin Bieber.
The “Who’s Your Daddy?” online sale was accompanied by an image of a beaver and proclamations that Spirit was “fathering” low fares “Justin’ time for the holidays.” The idea that 11/11/11 would be “a memorable date” was the genesis of a decision that the Energizer line of batteries would sponsor an event that evening in Houston, said Michelle Atkinson, vice president for North America marketing at the Energizer household products division of Energizer Holdings in St. Louis.

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