Most people excitedly look forward to the World Cup and the Olympics, as they happen only every four years. 

Do you know what else is as rare? The 29th of February. 

Most brands take advantage of this time of the year. Whether it’s Google changing its homepage, #LeapDay trending on social media, or businesses promoting status updates about it, we’ve seen it all. 

But why does February 29 create such a commotion online? Especially in marketing? 

One aspect of this leap day buzz is the scarcity principle. As something that occurs once in a long time, it becomes much more attractive.  

That’s why brands still use it as an opportunity for customer engagement – even when the day does not mark any traditional holiday. 

Cash in this rare opportunity to your advantage. 

5 awesome marketing ideas you should implement this February 29 

Offer leap day discounts

Special days call for special offers. Why not create one for leap day?  

Promote steep discounts and make the number leap day-centric, like 2.29%, 29%, or $2.29 off.  

Make sure to promote your offer using flyers, banners, and similar marketing material. Remember to let customers feel the urgency, too. Don’t make them miss out! 

Some examples of this kind of sales campaigns in the past include: 

1) Hard Rock Café offered a free entrée for customers born on Feb 29th from a special menu for the day. 

Hard Rock Cafe Leap Day campaign

2) Krispy Kreme discounted their original glazed doughnuts to $2.29 a dozen for leap day sales. 

Krispy Kreme Leap Day campaign

3) Hungry Howie sold a large, one-topping pizza for just 29 cents along with the purchase of a regular-priced large pizza. 

Hungry Howie Leap Day campaign

4) Pizza Hut served free one-topping personal pan pizzas to carryout buyers who were born on leap day. 

Pizza Hut Leap Day campaign

Run an interesting leap day contest

To engage and entertain your customers, run a writing, photo, or video contest. 

For example, let your customers answer how they can make the world a better place with the extra 24 hours offered by leap day.  

The key here is to connect it with your business. The whole contest must remain relevant to your brand. 

Remember also to give out prizes to ensure high participation! 

One company that did such was Disney. In 2012, they kept both Disneyland Park in Anaheim and Walt Disney World in Orlando open for 24 hours straight. To promote the event, they ran the content by asking customers, “What would you do if you had one more Disney day?”  

Disney Leap Day campaign

Customers got the chance to win a trip to either of the Disney resorts as the winning prize. This made the contest more well-received. 

Use your social media channels

Whatever niche you’re in, the leap day is an excellent chance to boost social media engagement. As it’s super interactive in nature, social media is perfect for reaching out to consumers quickly. 

Some of the ways to do this effectively include: 

  • Create a unique and catchy hashtag to use across all your social media channels. 
  • Build targeted ads for each social media channel. Prepare a detailed plan on how to promote them. 
  • Share interesting updates and address any questions/complaints. Monitor and engage with your customers consistently. 
  • Evaluate your social media campaign for areas of improvement. 

A great example of this is BigFrogOn their Facebook page, they encouraged customers to Leap for a cause by creating custom shirts. This presented a meaningful yet funny marketing message. 

BigFrog Leap Day campaign

Offer a special leap year benefit for purchases made within the year

This especially goes to ecommerce businesses. Offer all your customers a special Once Every Four Years mystery gift with their purchases.  

A lot of brands are capitalizing on this strategy. Consumers are always interested in surprises, enticed by the mystery behind “What am I going to get here?” 

Zappos Leap Year campaign

Online apparel shop Zappos did just that. They extended their existing 1-year return policy by another three years for anyone that makes a purchase on leap year. 

Let your customers leap – literally 

What could be a better way to hold your customer’s attention than having them physically leap? 

Let your customers post jump shots — like Mint did for their leap day campaign. Aside from photos, they asked their audience how they’re “leaping out of debt” for 2016.  

Mint Leap Day campaign

To make it more interesting, offer discounts or special gifts to the best photos or captions. In the end, you need to increase customer engagement and brand awareness. 

Happy Leap Day! 

Thanks to the Gregorian calendar, we have a special day that only comes once every four years. Take complete advantage of the uniqueness of February 29 to promote your brand and interact with customers.  

Make leap day the perfect occasion to treat your customers with something special. Use this guide today!

RECOMMENDED: 9 Steps to Writing an Effective Marketing Plan