Corporate Holiday Humbugs

It’s getting to be that time of year, when the weather drops below 40 and people start to prepare themselves (and their bank accounts) for the holiday season. From turkey, stuffing and cranberries; to presents, garland and twinkling lights, there is always someone convincing you that the holiday season will be even more memorable if you spend just a little more money. Companies gear up for this busy season, creating entire strategic plans to tackle the influx of customers that will be searching their shelves and racks for the “perfect” presents this year. Television Ads and radio commercials turn from normal to intensely tacky within a week after halloween, and you begin to wonder how advertisements for holiday merchandise progressed to this magnitude.

Many believe that the religious background of the holidays celebrated around this time of year gets overpowered by the materials and tangible items that are repeatedly portrayed to consumers. However, this is not the only gripe that is muttered around this time of year. Companies everywhere are constantly trying to change the way they reach their customers around the holiday season: ranging from television and radio advertisements, to mailing catalogues and going door to door. Many people view this as intrusive and not a very persuasive way to promote sales within the company.

As a result, many believe there must be a balance: where families can celebrate the holiday season and enjoy time with their families and friends, all while avoiding the initial panic that so many experience when the season arrives. Companies must be able to advertise in a manner that doesn’t send chills down consumer’s spines every time they hear a radio ad and create havoc within the shopping malls to make that 3a.m. sale. After all: its a season where families should enjoy their time together, instead of the gifts they receive.

-Lora Hampton

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6 thoughts on “Corporate Holiday Humbugs

  1. I completely agree because even as a college student im already thinking about how to save money for this holiday season. However i also think that some peoples tradition is tied into gifts. Not only is it a time for my family to be together, we share gifts as a way of showing it also. We also enjoy dinner together which is another tradition. Presents just go with christmas. Its the worst time to be in the mall but the best time for the production of a variety of brands.

  2. I really like and agree with this post. People often say the “meaning of Christmas” is lost because of corporations pushing Santa Clause and presents on everyone. Yet, where would those parents be who worked for those corporations without the Christmas push. Jobs are needed, so products are needed, so advertising is needed, but so is time with family and enjoying the holidays. A true balance is needed and advertisers cannot push too hard or they will turn off customers more than turn them on to their products. They must achieve coordination and bring their products into good light and not have customers fear their products.

  3. I agree that the holiday season has become more about worrying about the gifts and how we are going to afford these gifts instead of spending time with the ones we love and enjoying their company. Presents have taken over the holiday season which is something that is supposed to be about family and friends and relationships and about giving not receiving. It is important for companies to find ways to appeal to people without being to intrusive and pushing them away.

  4. It’s interesting you point out that advertising sparks around the holidays to try and grab consumers to buy decorations and anything festive, and also with the christmas tradition of gift giving. It would appear from your blog post that holiday advertising is downright intruding our lives but I don’t see it as that. I feel like anything to get more in the christmas spirit I am all for it. So when there is advertising about christmas gifts I don’t mind, I don’t feel bombarded by the messages. Yes, the advertisers want my money and to buy their products, but at least I’m hearing about it so that I have the option.

  5. “After all: its a season where families should enjoy their time together, instead of the gifts they receive.”

    This last sentence of your post really stands out to me. It is evident that during the holiday season we are often overcome by stress and worry of how we will meet the expectations of society in regards to gift-giving. With advertisements constantly pressuring us, as well as the overwhelming crowds at the mall and lines to see Santa Clause, we need to take a step back from all of the marketing mayhem, and remember that time spent with loved ones is what truly matters.

  6. I do think that advertisers need to take a unique approach not to disrupt consumers and in turn lose them as potential buyers. The only other thing to take into consideration, is that in such the materialistic society we have built and become accustomed to, I feel that we almost subconsciously expect there to be a crazy amount of advertising for christmas shopping going on, as well as stores starting to stalk christmas decorations in october. It might annoy us all, but it definitely gets us in the mindset for the holiday season. If none of it existed christmas and all holiday around the time would seem a lot different. It almost as if the hype and preparation is what makes the holiday season so special.

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