It’s the End of the World as we know it?

In these tough economic times, many retailers and manufacturers are putting extra effort into events such as Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s Day and the like in order to generate excitement and ultimately sales. 2012 should also prove a boost thanks to the London Olympics, the European football championship and the Queen’s Jubilee (in the UK anyway).

But could we also see retailers and brands attempting to tap into another phenomena towards the end of the year - the belief that 2012 will represent the ‘End of the World’ as we know it? The belief is that the ancient Mayans, using their knowledge of astronomy (possibly with a little help from ET depending on who you ask), prophesied the end of their Long Count later this year. Rather than count time in weeks, months and years, the Mayans counted time in 20 day units, called a Uinal. 18 Uinals make a Tun and 20 Tuns make a Katun (you still with me?). So, 20 Katuns make a Bak’tun and 13 Bak’tuns complete the Long Count of 1,872,000 days. To put it simply, the 13th Bak’tun will end on 21st December 2012.

This date, or ‘event’, which is already seared into popular consciousness thanks to the 2007 disaster movie ‘2012′, could well provide a unique opportunity for retailers and brands later this year to launch special promotions and brands - most likely in a humorous manner of course.

Think that is far fetched? Well, Lynx has already done precisely that. Late last year it launched the ‘2012 - Final Edition’ range of shower gel and deodorant.

the perfect scent as the world burns/floods/shakes

Lynx: the perfect scent as the world burns/floods/shakes

The range will be supported by a year long promotional campaign costing just shy of £6mn according to The Drum and will coincide with some “very exciting activity” led by the brand. The mind boggles.

A TV advert will launch later this year showing a young male using the spray to attract young females as the world around his falls into apocalypse. The strapline is: “Get it on for the End of the World”.

Lynx is one of the first, but will it be the last? It seems sensible to assume that some other brands and retailers will look to capitalise on consumers’ interest/awareness in the event to launch humorous, and perhaps innovative, promotional campaigns.

If anyone sees any 2012/End of the World promotions as the year progresses please drop me a comment/email and I will attempt to build up a list of examples.

Of course, my prediction itself might be wrong. But, hopefully, I won’t be alone.

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