11-11-11

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 U.S.O.

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.

 

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