Celebrating Easter: Retail Advertising, Religious Advertising and Egg Hunts
The last month to two weeks prior to the April 24, 2011, was a very busy time at work. The four-day compressed work week was due to the Easter Holiday, and meant having either Good Friday or Monday the 25th off. The advertising peak for Easter meant brisk business, but Easter also a pleasant weekend for people engaged in social activities such as Easter egg hunts, chocolate gift exchanges and mini-vacations for spring (U.S. and Canada) or summer (Philippines). For many, the Easter weekend marked a central religious observance: the culmination of Holy Week.
In retail advertising, the target audience is a secular public that enjoys Easter as a social event, essentially devoid of any religious overtones. Generally acceptable images include elements such as Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets, chicks, chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, Easter lilies, tulips, etc.—all gaily decorated in spring and pastel colors. It was interesting to note cultural differences with countries like France where, instead of an Easter bunny; an Easter bell flew in from Rome and brought the eggs and chocolates for the children.
Retail advertising for Easter cut across different product types: automotive ads incorporated Easter egg themes; some even had illustrations of dealers dressed in bunny suits. Real estate ads featured "Happy Easter" greetings in informal fonts and retail stores announced Easter Sunday discounts and promotions festooned with eggs, bunny rabbits or tulips as borders. In keeping with the Easter theme, spring colors (yellow-green, lemon yellow, white, and sky blue) and a few shades associated with Easter (pastels, lavender, baby pink and baby blue) often brightened ads and called attention to key elements.