Marketers try to make of meal of Leap Day

Today, Feb. 29, is Leap Day, the day added every four years to keep the calendar from falling out of step with the astronomical year and destroying civilization as we know it. The New York Times reported earlier this week on some efforts from marketers to take advantage. Mostly, this seems to involve offers of free food from restaurants like Boston Market, Morton’s The Steakhouse and Papa John’s, who apparently see Feb. 29 as just another opportunity for you to gorge yourself. (Most of the offers only apply to “leaplings,” who are those actually born on Feb. 29.) Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty is trying something a bit more admirable by holding self-esteem workshops around the world. (“Our mission is to make more women feel beautiful every day,” says a rep.) Virgin America has been holding a “Why leap when you can fly” sale. And the tourism people in Atlantic City, N.J., have come up with 29 ways to enjoy the boardwalk and beyond. The most famous leaplings of all, Norway’s Henriksen siblings (shown here), born on consecutive Leap Days in 1960, 1964 and 1968, are keeping a low profile, out of all ad materials (though Mental Floss magazine is having a 20-percent-off sale in their honor). And the one marketer perhaps entitled to toot its horn today, Intel, whose tagline is “Leap ahead,” doesn’t appear to be doing anything special. Which may be for the best.

—Posted by Tim Nudd