Mardi Gras Marketing
Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday,” a day when many people eat richer, fatter foods before the ritual fasting that comes with Lent. Also known as Carnival, Mardi Gras is celebrated in many countries around the world (mainly those with large Roman Catholic populations) before the religious season of Lent. Brazil, Venice and New Orleans host some of the most famous Mardi Gras festivities, drawing thousands of tourists every year.The carnivale season actually begins on January 6 (King’s Day) and ends on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). This year, Fat Tuesday is on February 17.
While Louisiana is the only state to have Mardi Gras as an official holiday, many cities across the country and the world celebrate Mardi Gras in their own way. And, depending on your business, neighborhood and clientele, celebrating Mardi Gras might be a fun way to capitalize on the spirit of the celebration!
It goes without saying that food is a large part of Mardi Gras. After all, you’ve gotta get all those delicious and fattening treats before Lent starts! If you run a café, restaurant or bar, why not incorporate a few traditional New Orleans goodies into your menu? Here are some examples of food a Mardi Gras reveler might enjoy in New Orleans:
- Jambalaya (chicken and sausage stew)
- Gumbo (seafood and sausage stew)
- Boudin Balls (fried sausage)
- Cracklin’s (fried pork skin)
- Étouffées (creamy rice with shrimp or crawfish)
- Oyster Po’ Boys (fried oyster sandwich)
- Muffelettas (sub with Italian deli meats and olives)
- Red Beans & Rice
- King Cakes (a plastic baby is hidden inside this traditional pastry, it’s good luck if you find it!)
You can’t have Mardi Gras (or New Orleans, for that matter) without good music! If you can’t accommodate live music in your space, consider playing traditional New Orleans jazz, funk or instrumental brass music. It will set the tone for celebration!
The colors of Mardi Gras are purple (for justice), gold (for power) and green (for faith). An easy way to create a festive mood is to have your employees dress in these colors, or to decorate your space with colorful Mardi Gras decorations. If you run a bakery, a fun idea might be to create Mardi Gras themed cupcakes with different colored frostings.
One of the most iconic traditions of Mardi Gras is the throwing of the beads and other giveaways from various floats. Why not take that idea and make it work for your business? You can put beads at each place setting, or give away samples of new products, or come up with a branded item to give away at a special event. For a really special giveaway, you could partner with a few other local businesses to give away a trip to Mardi Gras!
Are you planning on celebrating Mardi Gras this week? Let us know in the comments section below! And, Laissez les bons temps rouler! (That’s French for “let the good times roll!” For more commonly-used Mardi Gras terms, click here).
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