Today — Sept. 9, 2009 — has marketing directors almost as excited as numerologists. When translated into numerals, today’s date become 09-09-09, a sequence that has triggered all sorts of business tie-ins as well as bizarre speculation.
While the years just ahead will feature other types of numeric novelties, this is the last time in almost a century that the world will be such a set of repeating single-digit dates. The next will happen on Jan. 1, 2101.
The number nine is considered lucky in some cultures (like China), but others (like Japan) deem it to be ominous. Numerologists who predicted doomsday would fall on June 6, 2006, are now saying weren’t wrong, they just got their numbers upside down. It’s 999 not 666.
But assuming humanity as we know it survives to see Sept. 10, many other special events are planned. There’s the couples who have planned to marry at 9 o’clock today. But in the business world, there’s the Beatles connection tied to the song “Revolution 9,” with its “number nine, number nine, number nine” refrain. The remastered catalog of Beatles recordings from Abbey Road Studios is being released, as well. Apple Computers has chosen today to make what is being promoted as a significant announcement.
And as we all know, businesses just love pricing their products with dollars and cents ending in nine. Somehow, $2.49 and 9/10 a gallon seems cheaper than $2.50.
If you want more evidence of the significance of the date, consider: This is the 252nd day of the year, and those digits add up to… you guessed it.
But perhaps it’s unlucky after all. The first television laugh track was heard on Sept. 9, 1950.