On birthdays, mine in particular…

July 16, 2013

Homemade beats Hallmark every time…

Once again, I am lax in my dutiful coverage of all things ad-related. This time I have precious few excuses save for the usual “too busy at work.” Oh, but wait a minute. There is this: I had a birthday. That’s right I turned 77 years old last Sunday.

No, I am not that old. However, I do remember when editors cut TV commercials with razor blades on a wheel. (Alas, I am not kidding.) This, of course means I also remember TV commercials. Dag nabbit, those were nifty!

All joking aside, it was pretty special celebrating a birthday in my new home. My wife took to me to a French restaurant in the city. And when I got home my eldest daughter had homemade cake waiting for me as a surprise. In addition, she made me a lovely card (above), which I will cherish forever.

Riffing on birthdays, I looked up the history of them on Wikipedia. I learned precious little. Apparently, the tradition goes back before any one specific event. It’s a worldwide concept, spanning all cultures, seemingly as old as time itself, or at least calendars.

From Wikipedia this fun fact: “According to a public database, birthdays in the United States are quite evenly distributed for the most part. However, there tend to be more births in September and October. This may be because there is a holiday season nine months before, or from the fact that the longest nights of the year happen in the Northern Hemisphere nine months before as well.” I guess winter is good for something besides skiing.

Since birthdays are almost always celebrated with gifts I wonder what impact they have on marketing and advertising. Though obviously not a clustered event like Christmas there are undoubtedly a shit-ton every day of the year. While we can’t measure the upside to sellers one can certainly imagine the downside if birthdays were not marked by gift giving. A weird thought, I know. But just imagine how crappy the sale of birthday candles would be. And what about certain precious stones, like rubies, which happen to be the birthstone of July?

Anyway, I beg your pardon for this most random post and I thank you for your best wishes, however belated. In lieu of giving me rubies please donate a few shekels to your favorite charity on my behalf.


3 Responses to “On birthdays, mine in particular…”

  1. It’s not random at all. I love it. And not just because it’s my birthday tomorrow. We have a future king or queen about to be born on this side of the pond any day now, and – in an admittedly absurd, old world kinda way – these dates take on significance.

    One thing that has always surprised me though, is that the rights to the song ‘Happy Birthday’ are supposedly owned by Warner Chappell. This is why in the movies, they always sing ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’. And it’s also why I have told my 7 and 5 year old, by way of a very stern letter, that they risk an injunction and punitive damages if they breach Warner’s IP tomorrow 😉

  2. Lisa said

    Happy birthday and I didn’t donate to a charity but I did buy your book The Happy Soul Industry. Excellent read.

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