How to Celebrate Brand Anniversaries in 2024

Activate your brand’s milestone anniversary by creating novel, memorable experiences that celebrate your brand and forge deeper, more meaningful connections with audiences.  

Image generated by Midjourney, Article copy by Rehab AI consultancy

tl;dr: Today’s brands are embracing novel milestone anniversary strategies that reinforce their purpose to their audiences. In this article, we’ll explore how leading brands such as Disney, NBA and Starbucks have created unforgettable self-celebrations that reactivate consumers, and how you can do the same in 2024.

Milestone anniversaries are often successful because they encourage brands to focus on their ‘why,’ reinforcing their purpose and strengthening relationships with their audience. 

Unlocking the potential 

While milestone brand anniversaries may seem trivial, here’s what they can do for you if you take them more seriously.

1. Boost your brand awareness

Brand anniversaries provide a unique opportunity to generate buzz and increase your brand’s visibility. This heightened exposure can ultimately boost your brand’s presence in the market. 

2. Re-engage your biggest advocates

Celebrating brand milestones is not just about consumers. Recognizing your company’s history and achievements can foster a sense of pride amongst internal teams, increasing morale and productivity. 

3. Set up a vision for the future 

Milestone anniversaries can serve as a springboard for setting a clear path ahead. If you use this occasion to reflect on your brand’s journey and achievements, you can translate that into a vision for the future. 

Brands leading the way


In 2021, the NBA celebrated its 75th anniversary with a year-long campaign that paid tribute to the iconic moments, legendary players, and the global impact of the sport. 

At Rehab, we partnered with the NBA to deliver an international game, Ultimate 5 an AI-powered dream team experience that immersed fans in the history of the NBA, encouraging exploration of the 75 best players and then challenging fans to create their best team across all eras.

The celebration started with a star-studded event featuring basketball legends from various eras, highlighting the league’s enduring legacy. The NBA also launched a comprehensive digital archive, allowing fans to explore the sport’s history through a vast collection of photos, videos, and memorabilia.

One of the standout features of the NBA’s 75th-anniversary celebration was its commitment to community engagement. The league organized grassroots basketball events, charity initiatives, and educational programs to lower the barriers to entry and promote the sport at all levels. 


As the entertainment giant celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2023, it embarked on a year-long journey celebrating the magic it has brought to generations of fans worldwide. Disney kicked off the festivities with a nostalgic campaign that included re-releases of classic films, special-edition merchandise, and an anniversary parade at Disneyland. 

However, what truly set Disney apart was its commitment to modernizing the celebration. Through interactive online experiences, virtual reality attractions, and augmented reality apps, Disney ensured that younger audiences who grew up in the digital age could also be part of the celebration. 

The result? A renewed nostalgia for longtime fans and a captivating introduction to the magic of Disney for a new generation.

Starbucks 50

In 2021, Starbucks marked its 50th anniversary in a manner that exemplified its unique blend of coffee, culture and community. The coffee powerhouse embarked on a year-long, multi-pronged approach to engage its loyal customer base and capture the imagination of a new generation of coffee enthusiasts.

The heart of Starbucks’ 50th-anniversary celebration was a reimagining of its iconic Starbucks Reserve Roasteries. These flagship locations served as venues for the festivities and showcases of the art and science of coffee-making. Starbucks introduced limited-edition anniversary blends, enticing coffee lovers with unique flavors and stories. 

To enhance the experience, the company offered guided tours, coffee tastings, and educational sessions, allowing visitors to delve deeper into the world of coffee. This hands-on approach not only celebrated Starbucks’ rich heritage but also highlighted its commitment to elevating the coffee experience for its customers.

The common denominator

These iconic brands have all skillfully harnessed the power of their anniversaries to forge deeper and more meaningful connections with their diverse and ever-evolving fan bases. And while their strategies have differed, there is one clear common thread: they all prioritized reinforcing their purpose and connecting with their audiences.

As they demonstrate, celebrating milestones isn’t merely about looking back; it’s about embracing the past to build a stronger future. For the NBA, Disney and Starbucks, prioritizing their audience ensures that they remain integral parts of their audiences’ lives for years to come.

How can you do the same in 2024?

Here are three ways to create memorable, emotionally resonant experiences that celebrate your brand’s history and connect with your audiences meaningfully.

  1. Evoking nostalgia 

Nostalgia is the trend of 2023, with emerging audiences embracing everything retro, from clothing, tech, music and even brands, the future is in the past. 

What a perfect opportunity to leverage your legacy, celebrating with your core audience at the same time, attracting new ones.

Immersive technologies can bring your iconic characters and IP to life to engage and place audiences into your brand world, letting them become part of your lore, and deliver hyper-personal content and memorabilia at scale. By transporting fans back in time, this invokes a sense of nostalgia that deepens their emotional connection to your brand earning you a share of heart. 

  1. Putting consumers at the heart of celebrations

Whatever the activation, putting your biggest fans at the heart of your brand anniversary celebrations not only strengthens their connection to your brand, but also encourages them to become more active advocates and ambassadors.

Through creative technologies like chatbots and other interactive AI experiences, you can give the tools for consumers to co-create highly engaging, and memorable brand anniversary celebrations that build communities and forge deeper connections with fans. 

  1. Using AI to ideate and validate ideas

A brand anniversary activation is very different from any other campaign. There can’t be just one audience target, the activation has to captivate a diverse group across a range of demographics and behaviours. 

The challenge is finding the right creative that hits all audiences. That’s why we launched our Idea Validator, which empowers creative teams to rapidly iterate and validate early concepts against customizable AI personas trained on your real target audience.

Now you can prove ideas are going to land before going into production, giving teams confidence to go bigger and bolder.

Join the conversation

Ready to start taking your brand’s milestone anniversaries more seriously? Could your brand be in need of an activation that unites all audiences and re-establishes its purpose?

With Rehab as your partner, level up your anniversary activations using our AI-powered creative innovation sprint process, Triage.