How The Marketing Industry Seemed To Get Everything Wrong This Easter
April 14, 2017 8:40 AM
This year, more than ever it seems the Christian church have been getting their knickers in a twist about how companies are marketing their brands and products off the back of Easter.
It seems that having already lost Christmas to consumerism and the growing non-religious population of the western world, the church is desperate to hang on to its one remaining religious festival, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus H Christ.
This all started last week when angry shoppers started to notice an apparent decline in the number of eggs being labeled as "Easter eggs," instead they found the eggs were being labelled as "chocolate egg" or simply "egg."
Comparisons have been made online between Easter egg packaging from the past and this year's array of boxes and in many cases it seems that the word "Easter" has been silently dropped from the artwork.
As it turns out, this isn't quite true. A quick Google search reveals that even going back as far as the 1970s there have been many times when the word "Easter" hasn't been included on egg boxes.
Various brands including Quality Street, Smarties, Kit Kat and many others have chosen not to include the word "Easter" in certain years on their egg box designs. This isn't a trend, it's happened on and off for more than four decades.
While most chocolate manufacturers seem to have dropped the term Easter this year, one thing that hasn't dropped is sales figures. Companies like Cadbury's know the value in Easter eggs, just as companies know the value of advertising around Christmas. You can bet that as many, if not more, people have been buying Easter eggs this year because as a country we embrace religious holidays.
However, the one thing that has changed in recent years is the number of people who believe in the religious origins of Easter and the other religious festivals. In 2011, 59.4% of the British population identified themselves as Christian, now six years on there are more people in the UK who say they are non-religious than there are Christians.
So, while companies like Cadbury's may have dropped some religious terms from their packaging, the majority of their customers have dropped the religious connotations that their eggs historically carried.
The majority of egg buyers clearly aren't put off by the lack of religious branding, but the Christian community were enraged by the chocolate companies' marketing campaign which chose to ignore the name of a religious event.
So, you'd think they'd have been happy when Tesco decided to advertise in the lead up to Easter and included the name of a religious day in the advert. Well, it seems that's not the case and the supermarket chain have been forced to apologise after their ad was branded as "offensive."
For most people and probably for a majority of the Christian population in the UK, the ad didn't offend, but it seems that for a few the ad has given them the chance to voice their concerns and fight back against the decline of the religious importance of Easter.
Easter is now less of a religious celebration and, like Christmas, has become a celebration of friendship and family, a time when people come together, enjoy some time off work and will probably enjoy a few Easter beers, which as it happens, are on offer at Tesco.
Like it or not, religion is dying out and the Christian community should be proud of the fact the symbology and traditions of their religious festivals are living on in modern cultural celebrations. Even if the atheists got their way and the Easter weekend became known as the "early spring bank holiday," you can bet that eggs would still play a role in that celebration, symbolising the rebirth of nature as summer approaches.
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