Blue Monday – real or just an excuse to break the New Year’s resolutions?

Today is the Monday after Blue Monday. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, see Joe’s blog from last week.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel much more cheery today than I did last Monday to be honest. As a researcher, I decided to go and talk to Brits to see if they felt any different last Monday using ‘Your Voice’, which is our proprietary online community at OMD UK.

In our online community, half of our respondents were aware of Blue Monday but most didn’t feel very different from other Mondays. We can see some examples below:

‘I didn’t feel any different last Monday from any other Monday, although I must admit I’m not a fan of January in general as I think it takes a while to get back into the rhythm after Christmas, especially with the bad weather we’ve been having lately. To combat any effects I would just take things easy and spend some quality time at home to combat the glumness of January!’ Laura, 18-34

Blue Monday?! Who thought that one up? The cynic in me says it’s something to do with retailers post-Christmas trying to get us all to cheer ourselves up with a bit of retail therapy. In fact, I’m quite relieved that the madness that is Christmas is over and that I can relax and look forward to the summer. Evenings are already getting lighter and I had a great day last Monday. Safe to say Blue Monday passed me by, thank goodness! Sally, 55+

‘I think I had blue Monday last week when I found out David Bowie had died. Trying to remember previous years I would say that I have not felt any different to any other Monday or day of the week. I think the people who say it base it around dealing with the after effects of Xmas debt and how long it will be to the next end of month pay day but thankfully neither of those things apply to me’ Brendan 45-54

However there were a few who actually felt gloomier than usual:

‘Have to say I was really down on Monday, had a day off and just couldn’t get motivated to do anything. It was only later in the day that I found out it was blue Monday. Monday isn’t my favourite day of the week and this one was definitely one to forget!’ Steven 45-54

‘I had heard of “Blue Monday” before, though was only reminded when I heard about in the media. Not sure if it was coincidence but I really did feel fed up last Monday, more than the usual Monday morning get up, so I got in work on Monday feeling a bit down. The poor weather did not help. I just threw myself into work, it helps the day go quicker. I also went for a walk at lunch time, this helped, it got me out of the office and I just thought about positive things, good friends, better weather in the coming months this definitely helped. I felt more positive and it made me realise at the moment that I don’t have too much to worry about.’ Gary 45-54

The good thing about Blue Monday is that many people decided to do something nice for others like baking cakes or paying an unexpected compliment, and for many it was a great excuse to break their New Year’s resolutions without the feeling of guilt!

On social media we saw that #BlueMonday was trending on Twitter. There were some good examples from brands like easyJet making your Blue Monday orange, with a competition to win a holiday. Fitness First allowed non-members to exercise in their gyms for free and Tesco gave away free fruit at lunch time.

However, there is a risk for brands in making themselves look like a follower, so they need to ensure that their campaigns are well thought out and stand out from what others are doing, otherwise it could end up being detrimental to their brand’s image.

Regardless of whether it’s ‘real’ or not, Blue Monday is now firmly locked into the calendar, so it looks like the opportunity will be there for brands to use this day to be culturally connected with consumers by helping them to combat the day’s gloominess for years to come!


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