The English don’t seem to care much for St George’s Day.

By Sam,

Today, April 23rd is St George’s Day. It’s the same date every year but does anybody notice? For many English people, it’s easier to name the date of Ireland’s patron saint day than it is Englands.

We thought it would be interesting to compare the interest in each of the patron saint days in the UK and Ireland and separate this by the country they represent. We used our planning tool aipaware to find out more.

aipaware, allows us to measure interest and awareness in topics. Using media, search, social and economic data we can compare topics, brands, interests, news stories as well as political support by demographic and geo-locations. In fact, we can measure and compare pretty much anything. The tool gives us an interest & awareness index. For our clients, we use this data to inform our media planning and buying strategies identifying the right areas to target, alongside the media mix that will make the biggest impact.

The Irish care more about St Patrick than the English do for St George. And so do the English.

That graph above shows us the in-country interest for each patron saint day. The Irish (in Ireland) are 2.5 times more likely to be interested in St Patrick’s Day than the English (in England) are in St George’s. 

The Welsh too are more interested with people just over 2x more likely to care. Whilst in Scotland, St Andrew’s day is still more popular than St George’s, but not to the levels we see in Ireland and Wales (only a 21% uplift).

In fact, if we use the tool to look at the interest of St Patrick’s day within England itself, it is still higher than St Georges Day!

St Patricks day in England aipaware

Whilst it is a bit of a leap to extend this difference to a country’s feeling of national pride, you can see from the data how important their national days are to Ireland and Wales. In England and Scotland, far less significance is placed on these events

So has it always been like this?

Awareness and interest aren’t fixed, they evolve over time. We use aipaware to monitor these changes. In marketing, this can be a very effective tool to measure the impact of an advertising campaign.

But we can also use Google Trends to see how search behaviour is changing.

aipaware - st patricks day trends

St Patrick’s Day has been pretty static in recent years with small fluctuations but according to Google Trends, search peaked to a far lower level in 2019 than in previous years.

In Wales though, momentum is building behind St David’s Day. Interest has been increasing year-on-year, with search queries rising 25% from 2018 to 2019. Perhaps Wales’ dominant performance at the 6 Nations (and Irelands disappointment) might have something to do with it. Particularly as they were able to beat Ireland to victory on St Patrick’s weekend.

If this trend continues perhaps we could see St David’s day overtake St Patrick’s Day as the most popular patron saint day in UK & Ireland as soon as 2020. Welsh pride is on the rise.

Search queries are also increasing in Scotland with demand peaking in 2018 when looking back over the last 5 years.

So what about in England and St George’s day? Well, the trend is far more inconsistent with the last peak in 2015. If anything, you could argue the trend is declining. 

So is it okay to celebrate St George’s Day? What is causing the English to refrain from embracing their patron saint day? Perhaps it is because the day itself isn’t a bank holiday or that for many the English flag has unfortunate connotations.

Either way, it remains to be seen how 2019 will play out and whether today will be celebrated as vehemently as it would be by the Irish, the Welsh and the Scots but from all of us here at aip we’d like to wish you a very happy St George’s day nonetheless.

aipaware combines multiple data sources to present an accurate view of a communities interest and awareness in a subject. For our clients, we use this data to more effectively plan media campaigns and understand the true impact they have on our target audiences.

If you would like to find out how we can unlock insights for your brand, or something just for something you are interested in, get in touch.