Also known as
Pocky & Pretz Day
annually on November 11th (since 1999)
Ezaki Glico in 1999
Pocky Day—or Pocky & Pretz Day—is a Japanese marketing event for Pocky, as well as for Pretz, brands of long, thin biscuits―somewhere between cookies and pretzels—made by Ezaki Glico. The snacks look similar to the number one, which is why they are celebrated on 11/11. Ezaki Glico has had an advertising campaign for Pocky Day since 1999, and the Japanese Anniversary Association has certified Pocky Day as a memorial day.
Ezaki Glico started selling Pretz in 1963. In 1966, they began covering some with chocolate. But they quickly decided to keep one end chocolate-free, creating a kind of handle, so that hands wouldn't get full of chocolate when holding them. The new treat was first called chocotekku, but when it was discovered that the name was already trademarked, they called them Pocky, which is taken from pokkin, a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound something makes when it is snapped in half. Over the years, other flavors beyond chocolate have been added, some of the most common being strawberry, cookies & cream, matcha green tea, and chocolate banana.
In 1983, an almost identical product called Pepero started being sold by Lotte, a South Korean food company, and beginning in 1994, Pepero Day started being observed on November 11th by consumers. Lotte began promoting the day in 1997, and Pepero continued to increase in popularity. Back in Japan, the same could not be said for Pocky, and Ezaki Glico decided to do something about it. They created Pocky Day and began a heavy advertising campaign.
Each year for Pocky Day, Ezaki Glico organizes an advertising campaign in Japan, as well as contests, collaborations, and other events. Events are often held near the Tsutenkaku, a tower in Osaka. Ezaki Glico has handed out Pocky and Pretz outside of it on the day and during the lead-up to it and has set up games related to Pocky there as well.
In 2012, Ezaki Glico asked their fans to tweet about Pocky as much as possible. When Pocky got 1,843,733 mentions, it set the Guinness World Record for "Most mentions of a brand name on Twitter in 24 hours." The record was broken on Pocky Day the following year when Pocky got 3,710,044 mentions. In 2014, Ezaki Glico held a "World Challenge" where they encouraged people to submit pictures of themselves with Pocky, in an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for "Largest Online Photo Montage of Cookies/Biscuits." The record was set with 16,825 photos.
Ezaki Glico created Pocky and Pretz Rockets and launched them on Pocky Day, and also created the "Pocky Pole Project," where skydivers went up 1,111 meters, jumped, and dropped giant Pocky onto a giant target. Ezaki Glico has organized Pocky photo and photo mosaic campaigns and has been behind other events. Individuals often celebrate the day by eating and sharing Pocky, playing the Pocky game, and building Pocky towers.
How to Observe Pocky Day
Celebrate in some of the following ways!
- Buy and eat some Pocky. Have the original chocolate flavor, and try some of the other varieties. You could also have some Pretz.
- Share some Pocky with your friends, giving it out by the box or the stick.
- If you can make it to Japan, check for any events taking place at Tsutenkaku.
- Check for other events being organized by Ezaki Glico.
- Build a Pocky tower.
- Play the Pocky game.
- Decorate some Pocky.
- Use a recipe to make something with Pocky.
- Make or view Pocky fan art.
- Follow Pocky on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Add a Pocky filter to your Instagram and Facebook profiles.
- Read some press about Pocky.