What Office Ritual Is The Result Of Careful Marketing?
Answer: Casual Friday
Among the many things that defined the 1990s–overuse of teal and dot-com stock bubbles aside–it was the rise of Casual Friday. Although the idea of having a day of casual dress in a corporate environment wasn’t exclusive to the 1990s (officials in Hawaii had experimented with Aloha Friday in the 1960s), it’s definitely the decade where it roared into prominence.
The rise in popularity wasn’t accidental either, but instead a very carefully calculated marketing campaign. In 1992, Levi Strauss & Co. sent out promotional material to 25,000 human resources departments around the United States as part of a guerilla marketing campaign to give their newly acquired Dockers brand a boost. The material, a large brochure, showed a wide variety of casual office wear and encouraged companies to relax the dress code on Friday.
Although, in little pockets here and there, America had experimented with casual dress prior to that moment, it was then, in the aftermath of the marketing campaign, that Casual Friday became an embedded part of workplace culture.
Photo courtesy of Levi Strauss & Co.