Green Hats, Pink Bunnies and $27 Billion


In this blog, we’re going to discuss the incredible opportunity you have to pick up additional revenue during the major spring holidays. And, yes, it’s going to involve gift cards and promotions.

But first, a couple of stories.

Where do Easter bunnies come from?

According to Time.com, the theory with the most evidence is that our candy-bearing, floppy-eared pink-and-fluffy friends arrived in Pennsylvania in the 1700s, courtesy of German immigrants. They brought with them traditions that involved a hare called “Osterhase” and nests made by children in which it can lay colored eggs.

Eventually, the custom spread across the US and the whole egg thing expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while nests were replaced by decorated baskets.

Why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?

Every year, millions of us where something green on St. Patrick’s Day. MentalFloss.com tells us the color seems to point toward the Irish flag or the lush green landscape of Ireland (they don’t call it the “Emerald Isle” for nothing).

But St. Patrick’s original color of choice was actually blue. In fact, it wasn’t until 1641—over 1,000 years after St. Patrick’s death—that green started taking over. At that time, Ireland decided it no longer wanted to be controlled by Britain, so donning green was a display of nationalism.

The opportunity

Now, for the real story, the reason we’re here. Every year, billions of consumer dollars are spent on these two holidays. At Blackhawk Network, we want to make sure you’re getting your share.

Here are this year’s St. Patrick’s Day numbers, according to the 2022 NRF Annual St. Patrick’s Day Survey:

  • The expected average spend per person: $42.33
  • The expected total US spend: $5.7 billion

And here are some Easter spending projections from the 2021 NRF Annual Easter Survey:

  • The average spend per person: $179.70
  • The total US spend: $21.6 billion
  • The percentage to spent on gifts: 64%

Want to encourage consumers to spend some (if not all) of their St. Patrick’s Day and Easter dollars with your brand? That’s where promotions come in.

How to take advantage of the opportunity

Here are two related reasons why running gift card promotions is a no-brainer.

62% of consumers say they can’t even complete a purchase
before searching around for some kind of offer.*

Companies using reward-based promotions
enjoy greater marketing performance and year-over-year growth
than companies using discount-based promotions.*

That’s a pretty good one-two punch. Consumers want promotions and reward-based promotions are more successful. Want a third punch? Blackhawk Network powers hundreds of promotions every year for top global brands, helping them drive additional revenue, reach their business goals and make their customers happy.

Promotions work all year long. But they’re especially effective during holidays when consumers—with money to spend—are looking for deals.

To give you some ideas for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, here are a few types of promotions you can implement. We can help you choose the ones that work best for your particular business goal.

  • Buy One, Get One
    If a shopper buys a $50 gift card (for themselves or as a gift), they get a $10 gift card free.
  • Buy One, Get Points
    If a shopper buys a $50 gift card, they get a certain number of loyalty points free.
  • Buy One, Get Free Product
    For each $50 gift card purchased, you give the shopper St. Patrick’s Day décor or some Easter candy.
  • Buy One and Donate
    If the shopper buys a $50 gift card, you make a $10 donation to a nonprofit organization.

If we had green bunnies, we’d give you one.

We don’t have a good St. Patrick’s Day/Easter-themed gift, but we do have a thank-you gift for reading our blog—our popular look book, Using Gift Cards in Promotions. This easy-to-read guide is filled with real-world ways to boost your promotions, whether you’re a small business or a national brand, to add value, improve effectiveness and increase engagement. Just click here to download.

We’re here to help.

Of course, these two holidays are only two entries in your promotional calendar. Watch for future blogs with more stats, insights and useful resources. Meanwhile, if you have any questions—or just want to get started—the promotional experts at Blackhawk Network are standing by to answer any questions, make suggestions or help run your programs—whatever you need.

Just click here for more information or call 866.219.7533.


* Next-Generation Promotions: Foster Customer Engagement and Maximize Marketing Effectiveness, Aberdeen, 2021

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