World Smile Day® takes place on the first Friday of every October, the way it works is simple – do one simple act of kindness to make someone smile. You can help with this by providing your customers with promotional products which will make them smile.
The smiley face symbol was first created by Harvey Ball, from Massachusetts, in 1963. Ball was commissioned by a Life Assurance Company to create a symbol to promote their 'friendship campaign' with the aim of increasing low staff morale. The symbol was to be a smile which would be printed onto buttons, desk cards and posters. Ball created this but, unsatisfied with the result, added two eyes and a face to the smile. The whole drawing is believed to have taken just ten minutes.
The face was used on all promotional campaigns and by the early 1970s, the rest of America had started to use the smiley face. By 1971, it was the biggest selling image in America, appearing on countless promotional products as well as a huge fifty million buttons!
Over the years, the popularity of the image started to wane and by the late 1970s, fewer people were using the image. It never entirely disappeared and has made comebacks over the years with different fashions and as society has changed.
Of course, Ball didn't create the smile in general but he showed a way of expressing goodwill and cheer to the rest of the world through this symbol. This has since become one of the most recognised symbols in the world as a result. Ball always maintained that the 'smiley' had nothing to do with religion, politics, geography or any demographics. It was simply a smile which could be used to create goodwill and promote kindness.
Over the years, Harvey Ball realised that the symbol had become over-commercialised and had, as a result, lost its meaning. He came up with the idea of creating World Smile Day®, a day in which everyone would devote to smiles and kind acts throughout the world. He declared the first Friday in October every year would be World Smile Day® to recognise the importance of a smile. The first one was held in 1999 and it has continued across the world ever since.
Are you taking part in World Smile Day®? Even if you aren't, you can still support the cause by planting a smile on your face and promoting kindness. If you are, have a look through the promotional products on our website and see how you can help promote it.