Have awareness days jumped the shark?

Maybe, maybe not. But we thought we’d have some fun with the concept and create our very own. International International Day Day.

Here’s everything you need to know:

We played with the idea for ages before agreeing that awareness days had gotten out of hand. We decided to highlight this by officially creating our very own. One mini-brand and a few brainstorms later, we had it.

We registered our own awareness day to celebrate the absurdity of international days.

International International Day Day, which has been rubberstamped by Awarenessdays.com, the central resource for awareness days.

On November 2, social media users were invited to answer the question: what would your awareness day be? 

And that’s exactly what we did

We created ridiculous content about our favourite national days. We had an extremely long banner made – we even got a cake printed. We used AI to generate absurd fake case studies and one of our Storytellers, Jamie, even went on a radio tour to promote the day.

Story Shop’s Creative Lead Jamie Graham said: “Awareness days were originally devised to shine a much-needed spotlight on social, health, and environmental issues. 

“However, they have been increasingly used by marketing, PR and content creation professionals to help meet the relentless demands of social media algorithms for brands, leading to awareness days becoming ridiculous and convoluted, with a day for nearly everything, from National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day to National Rubber Duckie Day. 

“While awareness days help us promote our clients; sell products; fill social calendars; generate engagements; and spark fun,  they can sometimes lead to lazy content production, with many social media managers over-reliant and often beholden to awareness days.

“By creating International International Day Day, we might have finally made awareness days ‘jump the shark’. We want this day to encourage people to break free from the hamster wheel, think creatively and challenge whether content is providing value.”

Awareness days have taken on a life of their own since their origin in the 1980s, sometimes leading to both misuse and the creation of ever-ridiculous, commemorative events.

Having first emerged as a means to raise awareness, educate the public, and mobilise support for worthwhile causes, such as World AIDS Day and International Women’s Day. 

Organisations and companies have received much criticism for getting it wrong; Breast Cancer Awareness Month, for example, has seen countless “pinkwashing” controversies, where companies use the pink ribbon symbol for marketing purposes, without actually contributing to cancer research.

Back when it was called Twitter, American media personality, socialite and businesswoman Kim Kardashian tweeted: “Wait it’s legit National Snake Day?!?!?!? They have holidays for everybody, I mean everything these days!”

To find out more visit www.internationalinternationaldayday.com or follow @wearestoryshop 

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