Blue Monday Is An Easy Joke With A Serious Punchline

Jan 18, 2021 | Industry Analysis, Mental Health & Well Being

Today is ‘Blue Monday’ – theoretically the ‘most depressing day of the year’ – although that’s had some pretty heavy competition over the last year we’ve had.

We all know it’s technically pseudoscience, but factors like daylight hours, January weather, the wearing off of Christmas spirit, breaking of diets, dropping out of Dry January and distance to our next pay cheques really do weigh on people’s mental health.

So for this reason alone, there’s a huge reward in Blue Monday marketing to be had here for the right brand.

Historically, brands advertise with a ‘go on treat yourself’ angle around Blue Monday. But what they fail to grasp is that all they serve to do is reinforce the association between:

1) Negative emotion, feeling or behaviour,


2) Alleviating such effects with consumption.

Is that not incredibly dangerous? Particularly when it comes to alcohol brands. And especially given the additional stresses, pressures, anxieties and depression we’ve all felt at some point throughout lockdowns?

Surely it’s better to inspire a consumer to purchase on Blue Monday from a point of positivity and achievement?

Alcohol doesn’t cure boredom, loneliness, depression or anxiety – all feelings we as a nation are sharing right now.

Your alcoholic product isn’t going to brighten up someone’s Blue Monday. At best it will reinforce a negative associative behaviour that could lead to a dependency that you’ll be partly responsible for.

So this is a call from us at YesMore Agency to invite all of you in the marketing and drinks industries to draw a line in the sand and agree not to capitalise on Blue Monday in our marketing from now on. We don’t need it. And nor do the consumers we market to.

We’ve all seen the greetings cards and social media memes to “Gin up and bear it” or “Keep Calm And Drink On”, and scenes in movies and TV where the lead character is at rock bottom, takes to the bottle and then somehow saves the day.

Having lived through a global pandemic together, we’re all more conscious about our physical and mental health than ever. So we need to use this moment to be more conscientious of the reason why we drink alcohol.

Let’s look at our own drinking and avoid consuming alcohol to forget, to unwind from a hard day, to fill a void, to alleviate loneliness, when bored or for Blue Monday. This only escalates and lead to bigger problems and there are other non-harmful things that solve these problems much more effectively.

We’re on a mission to improve society’s relationship with alcohol, encouraging people to drink conscientiously by influencing the marketing & drinks industry to refocus on mental health and the reason why we drink alcohol.

Now is the time to make conscious decisions about drinking alcohol for the right reasons, to drink conscientiously. Think: enjoying its flavour, complementing a meal, celebrating a moment, socialising with friends and more.

Blue Monday is an easy joke with a serious punchline. So let’s put it to bed.

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Tom Harvey

Tom Harvey


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