When Columbia Pictures debuted its 2003 romantic comedy movie Gigli, starring Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, it bombed at the box office — grossing less than 10% of its total budget. But did the blunder wipe Columbia Pictures off the map? Of course not. Because they still had tentpole films like Something’s Gotta Give and Terminator 3, which reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in profit.
As Merriam-Webster defines it, a tentpole is “a big-budget movie whose earnings are expected to compensate the studio for its less profitable movies.” At least, that’s an alternative definition to go along with the obvious one: a pole to hold up a tent.
For advertisers building their yearly calendars, both meanings of the word can apply. Tentpole events — like Christmas, Black Friday, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day — can drive a significant percentage of annual sales. And, as you prepare your annual strategies, tentpole dates can give your calendar structure and shape.
Here, we’ll share what you need to know about tentpole events along with 23 must-know dates for your 2023 calendar.
Why are tentpole dates so important?
It’s important to prepare your roadmap ahead of time so you can ready your campaigns for increased engagement opportunities. Just look at the numbers from last year’s holiday season: 56% of US consumers started their holiday shopping as early as October. Meaning, brands that didn’t have their campaigns ready risked missing out on valuable sales.
Also, while certain tentpole dates remain the same each year — like Christmas and Halloween — others fluctuate depending on the day of the week — like Father’s Day and Thanksgiving. So you’ll want to figure out when those holidays land now instead of the week before they occur.
23 tentpole advertising dates in 2023
Your company’s tentpole events will depend on many factors, like your industry, geolocation, industry, and customer behaviors. But as you continue to build out your 2023 calendar, you can use this timeline of events to guide you:
- Black History Month – February
- Valentine’s Day – February 14
- International Women’s Day – March 8
- St. Patrick’s Day – March 17
- Medicare enrollment deadline – March 31
- Easter – April 9
- Tax Day – April 15
- Earth Day – April 22
- Mother’s Day – May 14
- Memorial Day – May 29
- Pride Month – June
- Father’s Day – June 18
- Independence Day – July 4
- Back to School – September
- Labor Day – September 4
- Hispanic Heritage Month – September 15 – October 15
- Halloween – October 31
- Thanksgiving – November 23
- Black Friday – November 24
- Small Business Saturday – November 25
- Cyber Monday – November 27
- Hanukkah – December 7
- Christmas – December 25
3 tips to prepare your 2023 advertising calendar
Now that you have your calendar mapped out, how can you actually prepare your advertising strategies for these important events? These three tips can get you started:
Collaborate with your account manager
Whether you’re working with Jeeng or another marketing platform, don’t forget to tap into one of the most valuable resources at your disposal: your account manager. Tell them which dates you’re building campaigns around and ask for their insights on which creatives, targeting, and distribution methods work best on their network. Then collaborate to launch and optimize ads around those tentpole events.
Obtain approvals ahead of time
Depending on the types of ads you run, you may need to obtain certain approvals or meet compliance regulations before you launch. Medicare ads, for example, often need to be approved months in advance. You don’t want to get caught scrambling to finish these tasks at the last second — or worse, failing to launch your campaigns on time. So add these approval deadlines to your calendar and make sure you’re prepared to meet all criteria.
Use email to launch timely campaigns
Email is one of the best platforms for launching timely, seasonal, and event-driven campaigns. That’s because it’s an opt-in channel where users intentionally select and engage with content. While people passively receive in-feed ads on social channels, for instance, they explicitly opt to engage with brand content on email. Also, brands can choose exactly when to send their email campaigns, so their content will be sitting ready in their customers’ inboxes at just the right moment.
Ready to launch your tentpole campaigns with the power of email advertising? Contact us to get started.