Advertising During The Holidays

After surviving the hot and humid days of summer, everyone looks forward to the cooler, but still comfortable, autumn weather.  Not to mention that this time of year brings the re-emergence of pumpkin-flavored everything, the changing leaves that make for a great Instagram picture or the plethora of scary movie marathons for Halloween.

Some shoppers looking for last minute ideas for costumes may be surprised when they see many Christmas decorations and sales already being displayed in several stores.  Christmas, known for being the holiday where family and friends reunite from all over the world, is now being exploited by the majority of corporations by advertising nearly two months in advance.  Most recently, it was apparent that Thanksgiving was losing its stature as the day of food, football and family to the long lines and massive discounts at Best Buy, Wal-Mart and many other businesses looking to make a sizable profit on Black Friday.

While Black Friday has been a Thanksgiving tradition for many, it is becoming a burden on the employees of these businesses.  For example, Macy’s will be opening its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, hardly leaving any room for employees or customers to spend time with their loved ones (and digest their turkey and potatoes).

Moreover, Christmas is already a stressful time for most, with the rushing around to purchase last minute gifts, the numerous travel delays that occur and any potential severe weather conditions.  Typically, the stress begins with the unofficial start to the holiday season on Black Friday; now, many shoppers will start feeling the burden of shopping and planning before Halloween is over.  Christmas should always be an enjoyable time, but having to buy a Christmas tree before carving out a pumpkin does not seem right.

However, viewing the situation from a corporation’s perspective, it is easy to see why they feel the need to advertise this early in the season.  The still-sluggish economy combined with the ever increasing competition from other businesses with better deals and savings forces these stores to try to ‘one-up’ the other by creating their own discounts that will lure in more customers.  It only makes sense to find the most customers willing to spend their money wherever they can find the largest amount of savings.

That does not mean that the American consumer should be forced to choose between purchasing Halloween and Christmas candy a week before Halloween.  There will be plenty of time for advertisements, heavily discounted items and annoying long lines so let’s just try to enjoy the fall holidays while the weather is still cooperating.  Also, do not let the noise and commercialization of Christmas get in the way of what really matters: spending time with your friends and family.  Many families have long traditions of reuniting for the holidays and from experience, I can say that it is worth the wait every year.  In the meantime, enjoy Halloween and be safe!