Feb 28, 2013
An idea not just for Barry but all of Wales.
How can the Welsh surpass the Irish in making their own patron saint day, St. David’s Day as popular as St. Patrick’s Day?
The answer may be in a very special version of a cuddle.
A good old fashioned affectionate hug, or ‘cwtch’ – an endearing Welsh word for a hug or cuddle is the secret weapon for enabling the celebration of all things Welsh on St. David’s Day on March 1st to be even more memorable and engaging around the world
I would urge the people who promote all-things-Welsh to embark on a five year campaign featuring ‘having a cwtch’ and making it a key integral part of the St. David’s Day celebration message around the world.
Giving a ‘cwtch’ is a great example of what can be called ‘experiential marketing’. It also highlights a key component of communications: People will often forget what you say, but remember how you made them feel.
‘Cwtch’, the word, has little awareness outside of Wales. It also has limited exposure on any Google search.
But ’cwtch’ the meme, where the meaning is the word accompanied by the act of giving a hug and showing you care has great potential to spread and replicate itself.
When you ask people to celebrate St. David’s Day what can they currently actually do?
It is great seeing the small children dressing up in traditional costume for schools, and maybe I could carry a daffodil around with me, have a pint of Brains S.A., and sing ‘Land of my fathers’ in a Harry Secombe voice. But seriously, what else can I do?
Is there an easier, ready-at-hand thing which can be done?
The answer is the ‘cwtch’: around the world people could be invited to give out ‘cwtches’ (is that the plural?) to celebrate St. David’s Day on March 1st.
You can imagine radio broadcasters relaying the message, you could encourage people to give each other cards with an accompanying ‘cwtch’, or virtual cwtches could be given.
We could indeed set up a ‘Cwtch Marketing Board’ to promote all things cwtch.
The idea could be further developed with promoting say ‘cwtch cakes’ - to eat with someone you care for.
Restaurants could offer ‘cwtch’ desserts designed for sharing.
There could be a word play on ‘There is no cwtch’
Why has it got strong meme potential? The act of giving a ‘cwtch’ is both inherently pleasurable (except maybe for non-tactile people) and has wider resonance with campaigns like ‘give a hug’.
In an era where greater emotional quotient is celebrated, sharing a ‘cwtch’ sits comfortably within people’s goals and values, and is therefore not likely to create barriers of dissonance in its transmission.
Just think how popular St. Patrick’s Day has become. Why? One fundamental reason is that it is meme-friendly, has a strong coherence, and crucially, easily links into existing easy-to-do behaviours or predilections: seemingly in this case, to enjoy a drink, or even get drunk.
Yes, giving a ‘cwtch’ is milder than the excesses of St.Patrick’s Day, but still has potential.
Who is the first person you are going to give a cwtch to on St. David’s Day on March 1st. And who is going to be the second, and third ‘cwtch of the day’ for celebrating all things Welsh?
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