When I logged on to my laptop, on May 1, Google had me engaged as the doodle immediately connected to Labour Day. The doodle depicted “different work environments inspired by vintage posters and WPA (Works Progress Administration) murals,” as they put it. So, their piece of advice was – “put down those tools, close your laptops and take it easy this Labor Day”!
Initially conceptualised to give a ‘thumbs up’ to working class men and women around the globe, Labour Day, also known as International Workers Day, dates back to May 1886, when thousands of US workers went on strike in support of the eight-hour working day (which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation and eight hours for rest). Interestingly, in some countries, Labour Day falls in September!
Acknowledging Labour Day, PM Narendra Modi saluted workers, emphasising that they play a big role in the country’s progress. “Today, on Labour Day we salute the determination & hard work of countless workers who play a big role in India’s progress Shrameva Jayate!,” he tweeted. Wishing everyone a happy international #LabourDay, UN Women tweeted that it’s time that we got down to “Celebrating all the hard-working women in the world!”
There were Labour Day offers galore, to allure customers. Coupons.com offered deals from Amazon, Expedia etc. Also, vying for attention were options from Macy’s, Walmart etc.
Noticeably, two years ago, there was one brand that went out of its way to commemorate this day. Announcing that it salutes its unsung heroes on Labour Day, was brand Kinetic, who executed an interesting OOH campaign called ‘Ads on Hold’ – a unique campaign that celebrated the contribution of thousands of ‘mounters,’ who help put the brand’s OOH campaigns on billboards. The brand felt that sometimes saying a ‘thank you’ is important, which they did, on May 1, 2015. As part of the campaign, they also distributed safety kits to the mounters.
Another milestone earlier in April, which had cities and brands involved was Earth Day – on April 22, which marked the 46th anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. It was indeed, prime time for natural brands to show consumers that they were committed to doing business in an environmentally-friendly way.
Google was again, a forerunner. Their doodle, when clicked took users to Earth Day tips to help our planet – by doing small things such as planting trees, eating less meat, turning off lights when no one’s in room, using bicycle etc. With the aim of engaging school students, Inalsa Home Appliances, rolled out an innovative green drive, as 1000+ schools of all major cities of India were being engaged to celebrate and promote the significance of World Earth Day 2017. Pfizer tweeted that it marked the fifth anniversary of their #GreenJourney. eBay India recommended that “This #EarthDay, give the planet a breather. Pledge to reduce, reuse and recycle” .Tata Group insisted – “Home is where the Earth is. Keep it beautiful”. Swachh Bharat also pointed out – “Our actions are cumulative. Together we created this mess, so we must fix it together too.” Samsung India said, “Good planets are hard to find. Let’s make it an #EarthDay every day. Participate in Samsung recycling program”.
We had noticed quite prominently, that Snapdeal, had “unboxed zindagi”, but now they were taking a pledge – “This #EarthDay let’s take an oath to be in harmony with nature, everyday”. Even shaadi.com assured us, “It’s time to get planting…May the forest be with you ;)”.
Last year too, brands made significant moves. Brand Apple rolled out a series of videos featuring interviews from employees, who talked about company’s climate change initiative. To create an impact in the environmental responsibility space, Starbucks announced that it would start donating 100% of its unused food to those in need. H&M Clothing brand also joined in, as they made it clear that from April 18 to 24, the fashion brand would give shoppers a 30 percent discount, in exchange for their old garments, promoting recycling.
And, today as I file this column, happens to be Buddha Purnima. Paytm Entertainment was one of the first to put up the tweet – “May the teachings of Buddha help you attain tranquility and peace in life. Here’s wishing you all a happy #BuddhaPurnima”! Incredible!ndia also followed suit – “Bowing to Lord Buddha, the Enlightened One!”
In short, it was a period of celebrating commitment and environment responsibility!