Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday, Marketing, and You.

Friday is BIG Business. I’d love to be profiting from it, but didn’t that ship sail long ago?  Certainly you can name someone (perhaps yourself) that had a poster of a cute dog or cat or even a gopher with the expression TGIF on it?

Curious about where it all started, a quick internet search revealed that a disk jockey in Ohio, Jerry Healy, coined the term in the early 70’s as “Thank God It’s Friday”. In the later seventies, the movie of the same name was released, disco heavy and sporting big stars including Donna Summer, Jeff Goldblum, and Debra Winger.

But Jerry Healy didn’t start the popularity of Friday. The popular restaurant chain, T.G.I. Friday’s was founded in 1965. The first one to open, in New York City, was aimed at a younger demographic as a destination for mingling and meeting people in a unique a-la-cocktail-party setting. The familiar red and white stripes were prominent right at the humble beginnings.

The acronym stood for “Thank God It’s Friday!” a reference to Alan Stillman’s, the eatery’s founder, Bucknell University days; however, there are counter claims that it stands for “Thank Goodness It’s Friday”. At any rate, Stillman became a very wealthy man by celebrating Friday and later went on to start another chain, Smith and Wollensky.

Fast forward to the late eighties; ABC seems to stake claim to the whole Friday phenomenon too, but here it stands for “Thank Goodness it’s Funny”. Where’s the Friday? A successful line up was created for that day, including memorable shows Benson, Diff’rent Strokes and Webster. NBC took a hint from ABC and later made Thursday a famous day of the week too.

At any rate, TGIF and Friday at large later became associated with partying, dancing, celebrating and kicking back after work. Did you have a regular place where employees from the company you worked at gathered? My place was at a Marriott in the better weather outside on the terrace.

The popularity of Friday lives on. A savvy teen, Rebecca Black, wrote a song about it, uploaded a video to YouTube and six weeks later had over 30 million views and fame. The “official” video currently has close to six million views. Katy Perry sang about Friday too and the eight minute VEVO version has over 130 million hits (no, that’s not a misprint) and features Rebecca Black to boot!

A far cry from Nancy Sinatra’s somber song about Friday’s Child that reached #36 in 1966 on the pop charts; there are a few hundred thousand hits on YouTube currently. Sorry Nancy, Friday wasn’t popular…yet.

A quick internet search reveals that Friday continues to be an important day and feeling for us:

  • TGIF images: over 3 million hits
  • Happy Friday images: over 9 million hits
  • Thank God it’s Friday: over 5 million hits
  • Thank Goodness it’s Friday: 1.7 million hits
  • Thank God it's Friday movie: close to 7 million hits

So is it too late to jump on the Friday bandwagon? No, of course not! I’d be happy to sell you a special edition coffee mug; just ask and I’ll make it available for you. Sorry, no discount. TGIF! Happy Friday!


Anonymous said...

A lot of interesting information here that I didn't know about! Thanks, good post! - Tim

Ante said...

Great post, and Nancy's Friday shout out rules!

Shannon Grissom said...

Fun post, brought back blasts from the past :O)

Lisa Ladrido said...

I love that picture of the kitty! That is what I look like every morning, not just on Fridays! I didn't know a lot of this information. Great post Gerry. When I saw the picture of Nancy Sinatra it brought back memories of me singing, "These Boots are Made for Walking" in my white boots! Now I can't get that song out of my head!!~Lisa

Gerry Wendel said...

This was a fun one to put together, actually. I try to post more light hearted marketing article that inject a dose of pop culture once a week. And Lisa, there's lots of other great Nancy Sinatra tunes to get stuck in your head explore!

Laurie at Bird in Hand Vintage said...

Enjoyed your post - thank you!

Gerry Wendel said...

Thanks Laurie! I enjoy writing about pop culture once in a while, so stay tuned!