Advertising Strategies and Lessons


Once Every Four Years Brands Celebrate Leap Year, With Fun Promotions

February 28, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Every four years is a Leap Year. February gets an extra day, we get an extra 24 hours and brands get an opportunity to capitalize on this unusual and fun “holiday.” Many brands offer promotions and discounts to consumers, particularly “leaplings” or “leapers” who are people born on February 29, AKA Leap Day. These clever and inviting campaigns, from snacks to hotel stays, include social media engagement and the chance to reach consumers across channels.

Fun Food For Leaplings From Lay’s And Olive Garden

Leap Day Bday sign You deserve some Lays from Lays

Many brands use the rare occasion of Leap Year to give leaplings free stuff. Lay’s is asking leaplings to visit the Lay’s Facebook page and post comments about Leap Day for chances to win free Lay’s potato chips. Leaplings can also enjoy four free dolcini desserts at Olive Garden and participating Farmer Boys' locations are handing out cheeseburgers to those blessed with February 29 birthdays. Quizno’s, Marie Callender and Kwik Chek are also offering either free goodies or discounts for Leap Day.

Hotels Are Offering Discounts For Leap Day Stays

For those special people born on February 29 looking for a little getaway, is offering 29 special discount codes valued at $290 each. Interested leaplings need only take to Twitter on February 29 with the “biggest struggle” they’ve experienced as leap year babies and will pick the 29 most creative “struggles” and reward the winners.

Many hotels around the country are also helping Leap Year babies celebrate the big day. Moxy Hotels is giving leaplings 29% off Leap Day stays at one of its New York City locations, and Hilton Hotels is offering a free night to leaplings who book two nights over Leap Day at The Conrad Hotel in downtown Manhattan. Denver’s Halcyon Hotel and The Venetian in Las Vegas are offering similar deals. 

Krispy Kreme Wants To Celebrate The Newest Leaplings

Baby sleeping in a basket in a special delivery shirt next to boxes of krispy kreme

With less than 0.07% of the world’s population born in leap years, the arrival of new leaplings is certainly a good reason to throw a doughnut party. Krispy Kreme will deliver free doughnuts to the parents of babies born on Leap Day and the doctors and nurses who delivered them. According to AdAge, “The chain is offering to ferry five dozen doughnuts to any hospital within 10 miles of a Krispy Kreme shop, but only if families or maternity ward staff post about the special delivery on social media, citing the hospital, tagging Krispy Kreme and including the hashtag #KrispyKremeSpecialDelivery.” Krispy Kreme will promote the Leap Year campaign on paid and earned media and as a larger part of Krispy Kreme’s new delivery option.

Leap Year Campaigns Offer Unique Ways To Grab Consumers’ Attention

The fact that Leap Year happens rarely means consumers may pay more attention to brands that launch well-executed campaigns or activations, especially those brands offering something to consumers in return. Though small in the course of year-round multichannel efforts, Leap Year promotions can increase engagement on social media, drive website traffic and support email marketing strategies. When brands launch “limited time only” promotions, consumers may be enticed to take advantage of the good deals or get left behind — and no one wants to miss an opportunity that only comes around once every four years.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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