Zappos Is Letting Employees Stay Home on Leap Day, and It Wants Your Company to Do the Same

A little break every 4 years

Not too many marketers go all in for Leap Day—Feb. 29—which only shows up every four years and has never been much cause for celebration.

But this year, online retailer has an unusual plan for those extra 24 hours. On Monday, the unit will give all of its 1,600 employees a paid day off. And it's launching the hashtag campaign #TakeTheLeap to promote its petition to get Leap Day declared a federal holiday.

Even the company's famously always-open call center will close from from 9 p.m. ET on Feb. 28 until 9 p.m. ET the following day. Customers phoning in during those hours will "hear an inspirational message encouraging them to celebrate Leap Day, letting them know we'll be available for them again around the clock after Leap Day," Kristin Richmer, a brand awareness staffer at Zappos, told Adweek.

"We're big proponents of our culture that encourages out-of-the-box thinking and bold stunts," she added. "So celebrating Leap Day in a big way simply makes sense for us as a brand, while maybe not so much for other brands. We want to give that day back to the people. It should be used as a bonus day to do good—for your community, your family or yourself."

Zappos hosted a Twitter chat today, asking participants to share photos of themselves leaping, along with what they'd do with the time off. 

And, naturally, if the #TakeTheLeap hashtag generates earned-media interest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, all the better. MullenLowe in Boston is helping with the campaign.

The brand's festivities include the wedding of two Zappos employees—Garrett Miller and Danielle Kelly—who will take their leap of faith in a ceremony officiated by company CEO Tony Hsieh (who has presided at such ceremonies before).

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.