Today, I went to visit an insurance company to take out an insurance policy for my brand new motorcycle. After talking with the representative, I decided it would be wise to take the insurance out at another office far away, and she agreed. But before I left, she handed me a calendar from her company and said with a smile, “here, you can have this.”
My mind then reeled back to this decades-long business practice of handing out calendars. For as long as I could remember, this was a practice of many businesses. They would print calendars compliments of “their company” and hand them out to customers. This calendar would have the business’s full name and address, and what products or services they offered.
Indeed, it was the start of the new year. It was January, and just a few days ago, I had collected a calender, so eargerly given out, from the Republic Bank.
Giving out calendars to customers and potential customers is a very good advertising tactic. It helps to build brand awareness. When people look at your calendar all year, they remember you. It reminds them of your products or services. On top of that, handing someone a beautifully printed calendar as a gift inspires a sense of reciprocity- the person feels inclined to return a small favor – and that may mean buying your product or service.
But it also sends subliminal messages. A calendar on the wall speaks to the subconscious mind of all who glance it from time to time. Even though the person may be too occupied to think about it consciously, the writing on the wall is always being interpreted behind the scenes. Related: The Power of Subliminal Messages.
Tonight, as I was lying in bed, holding my smartphone in my hand, I wondered, is a calendar even relevant nowadays? Where do people really turn when they want to know the date or a future date? Their phone of course! Or maybe the computer. Of course, the calendar is still useful for remembering the dates of national and international holidays. But even that is changing as the internet and computing technologies become more accessible.
And this morning, as I hung my newly acquired, beautifully printed calendars on the wall, I couldn’t help thinking that the calendar is becoming redundant – sort of like – a white elephant.