Two 2017 holiday hipster trends!

2017 holidays are amongst us and this year it’s all about glitter and pineapple Christmas trees! What is with this pineapple trend! I don’t know about you guys but there is no way I’m substituting my beautiful evergreen for a fruit. I will however incorporate these yummy holiday treats I’ve read about on Pinterest! But one thing I will incorporate into my holiday season are these delicious no bake peppermint fudge energy bites! As we all know working out is big now so why not put a festive spin on those protein bars!

Recipe: only requires almonds, medjool dates, dark chocolate chips and peppermint. After a little mixing, and some time in the fridge, they’re ready to go.pinapple .jpg

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Turkey Day, Cut Short

Is Black Friday still Black Friday anymore?

Business professionals seem to think that retailers succeed by opening their doors early to their customers, while others think that an early Black Friday means putting profit ahead of consumer.

You may be wondering, “When did all of this even start?”

Black Friday began with the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade back in 1924.
“Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, red ink indicated a loss and black indicated a profit. Up until just a few years ago, Black Friday started at 12am on Friday, leaving all of Thursday for quality time with loved ones along with yummy food.

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So what’s the big deal?

Many argue that these two holidays are quite different. Thanksgiving is all about time with family and friends and reflecting on all that we are grateful for, while Black Friday is all about shopping and deals. Needless to say, each holiday should have their own separate day. It’s easy to say that businesses are making more profit by opening their doors at 6pm on Thursday instead of 12am on Friday, but there’s also something to be said about the fact that this is cutting into precious Thanksgiving time with family and friends.

But…What’s so bad about starting early?

On the other side of this argument, it’s no surprise that Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year. Why not maximize on this by extending the day even further? Opening stores early on Thanksgiving gives people a chance to get their shopping out of the way and also allows minimizes crazy crowds. As a child, I can remember going with my mom at 11pm to wait in line for stores to open. We would wait in what seemed like a never-ending line of people just to be some of the first people in the store. Now, I can head on over to the mall right after dinner without having to fight through huge crowds. Some say that opening doors earlier is even safer than opening at midnight due to the fact that people have more time to slowly trickle into stores, rather than aggressively storming in with one big crowd at midnight.

So whether you think Black Friday should start on Friday or think that an earlier start to your shopping is good, make sure you celebrate each holiday to its fullest!

 

-Katie Kromer

New Movie November!

November 2017 has been a month of exciting new movie releases, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. Here are a few titles that have already hit the big screen, and some more exciting releases to look forward to!

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The month started off with “Thor: Ragnarok” hitting theaters. After finding himself imprisoned and without his mighty hammer, Thor must race against time to get back to Asgard and save his home from utter destruction. To do so, he must first survive a gladiatorial battle with a good friend, the Incredible Hulk. This battle will unite the two on this epic journey to save the gods. It is safe to say that Marvel knows exactly what they are doing with their film universe. “Thor: Ragnarok” received a 92% approval rating from Rotten Tomato’s, with the critics’ consensus calling it “Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise — and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

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Speaking of superheroes, DC released its own highly anticipated title with “Justice League” debuting in mid-November. In the newest extension of the DC film universe, Batman enlists the help of Wonder Woman to assemble a fearsome fighting team. Joining the team are Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash. Will this team be enough to save the world from catastrophic destruction? Despite their past success with Wonder Woman, DC just can’t seem to get much success with their other films. “Justice League” scored only 34% on the Tomatometer, and the critic’s consensus for the film says it “leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn’t enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.”

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Is it possible to get much lower on the Tomatometer than that? Why yes, it is! In what was anticipated to be a hilarious continuation of the Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell duo’s “Daddy’s Home,” “Daddy’s Home 2” failed to deliver the laughs despite its awesome cast. Unfortunately, the saying “like father, like son,” doesn’t really work the same way with originals and sequels. The critics’ consensus shows no mercy on this film, calling it “A formulaic comedy that’s unlikely to spread much yuletide merriment, Daddy’s Home 2 can only muster a few stray yuks from its talented cast.”

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One new release to look forward to comes this Wednesday. Disney and Pixar will be releasing their latest title named “Coco.” The film tells the story of a boy named Miguel who dreams of becoming a musician. However, Miguel’s family has a ban on music that spans back several generations. Trying to defy that ban and follow his dreams, Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead. He teams up with a trickster named Hector, and they set off the learn of Miguel’s family history. So far, Coco has received very high ratings, scoring a 94% from Rotten Tomato’s. The critics’ consensus says, “Coco’s rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly — and deeply affecting — approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.”

-Ty Myatt

Food Multi-platform Advertising Around Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of year in which many Americans gather with family to cook good food and and relax a bit from their busy lives. For many college students, it means a break from classes and mom’s best turkey or vegetable dish. However, while we dream of delicious food, many of us do not even realize how intense food and grocery companies in America advertise their products during this time of year.

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First of all, though the price of Thanksgiving staples drop around this time of year, the annual household spends more and more each year over the holidays — Forbes projected holiday spending in 2016 would reach over one trillion dollars. Thanksgiving prices do fluctuate every year (a family of 10 in 2016 can have a Thanksgiving meal for about $49.87, whereas it cost $50.11 in 2015), but the price of the holidays have steadily increased over the years and that could be due to campaigns from companies in order to sell you their products.

In an article for the Chicago Tribune, the paper got nostalgic and posted a multimedia article showing the average coupon clippings in the Tribune around Thanksgiving for every decade in which these coupons were present in the newspaper. This shows that Thanksgiving has been commercialized and the food that has gone into the holiday has been advertised for years dating back to 1915. But where advertisements and deals were listed in the local paper back in the day, companies now have to seek more ways in which they can promote their products across platforms.

This can be seen best with subscription meal services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron. Subscription boxes have become popular over the past few years, whether it be for dollar razors or new makeup samples, but subscription boxes for food is a rather novel and recent idea. These companies have options for a Thanksgiving meal as well as multiple side dishes from which to chose. They promote all of these options on their websites and provided discounted bundles for the holidays. However, their marketing efforts go further than this.

These companies also promote their products through online “influencers,” like YouTubers and social media celebrities. They will create partnerships and pay YouTubers to film unboxings of their products as well as show a walk through of how to cook the food. Most of these videos will end with some explanation of how this is a sponsored video; social media posts work the same way, except it may just be a static image or a short video to social media.

 

These groups also create buzz about their products by partnering with email companies like Gmail and Yahoo in order to send discounts and promotions to users of these platforms. And they also encourage their own users to promote their brand and product by telling their friends and incentivizing this by offering discounts for customers who successfully refer friends.

These new products are taking the advertising and promotion of food to a whole new level, and it is inspiring more traditional sources to keep up. Many food companies and conglomerates have social media pages now and partake in these same promotional ways. It can be a key way to target groups that may buy these products, especially during a food-frenzy like Thanksgiving.

So when you sit down with family to chow down on your Thanksgiving meal, you can now wonder how your family was inspired to buy specific products from certain vendors. Or just ignore that entirely and enjoy your holiday break!

Black Friday: As Told By The Office

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As soon as the holiday décor is out, the marketing for Black Friday is soon to follow. It’s America’s biggest shopping day of the year, and over the years it has become a holiday in itself. Stores are opening as early as Thanksgiving Day, and companies like Amazon recently announced Black Friday deals would be available November 17th, a whole week ahead of schedule.

The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1950s in Philadelphia to describe the chaos that ensued from the hoards of shoppers that came into the city the Friday after Thanksgiving. Despite the negative connotation that was once attached to this day, retailers and brands were able to market Black Friday as a day that benefitted customers through the sales that were offered. This retail holiday is now the start of a sales filled four-day event, starting with Black Friday and followed by Small Business Saturday/Sunday and Cyber Monday.

While most of us criticize Black Friday, we are just as guilty by participating in this notorious American “holiday.” Whether or not you choose to partake in this year’s Black Friday festivities, here’s what to expect as told by none other than the employees of Dunder Mifflin.

1. The minute you wake up on Friday morning exhausted, still in a food coma, and realize this was a terrible idea.GIF 5.gif

2. You struggle to find a parking spot that’s close to the entrance, so you settle for one that’s a mile away and make the trek back to the mall in the freezing cold.GIF 3.gif

3. You see long lines wrapped around the building and overhear people talking about how they’ve been here since midnight.
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4. It doesn’t matter where you go because you’re constantly surrounded by tons of people, and everyone is testing your patience. GIF 19.gif

5. Store displays are decorated with bows and garland and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” playing on the speakers – but you’re still recovering from Thanksgiving.GIF 9.gif

6. You make it to your favorite store to get those shoes you had your eye on, only to find out they are completely sold out and all hope is lost.GIF 10.gif
7. You try another store, and in the distance you see those same pair of shoes you so desperately want – and you do everything to make sure you get them.GIF 8.gif

8. You knock over two racks of clothes and jump over a small child, but you manage to beat another shopper to the punch. You finally get your hands on those shoes, and you feel nothing but success.
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9. Your Black Friday adventure leaves you feeling satisfied and accomplished – until you check your bank account.GIF 6.gif

10. You have remorse over the amount you spent, but remember that in three days it’s Cyber Monday. Meaning more deals, no crowds, and shopping from the comfort of your own home.GIF 14.gif

By: Lynsey Sain

Total Taylor Shift

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Taylor Swift, a global pop culture icon and musician, was known as a sweet innocent country artist. When she began her career, her songs quickly gained recognition and she immediately assimilated a loyal fan base. Since the release of her third studio album, Red, the music sensation has transformed her musical style and the way she brands herself.

The media targeted Swift shortly after her rise in popularity. She became known as a ‘heartbreaker’ because she seemingly generated tragic romances, which were the inspiration for many of her songs. She used the media coverage of her unfortunate circumstances, to make a transition from innocent country singer to unapologetic pop sensation.

Her latest album, Reputation, which released on November 10th, is a musical expression of her fight against the media chatter, which, coincidentally, was self-inflicted most of the time.

In her attempt to hang on to the musical trends, has Taylor Swift abandoned her true self, or is she just now showing it to the world? How authentic is Taylor Swift’s brand?

~ Ben Yerby

 

 

Friendsgiving

As we near the Thanksgiving Holiday, advertisers are heightening the exposure of holiday ads to reach target audiences. A recent trend introduced to the market is “Friendsgiving”. Friendsgiving is now a hit with the college age demographic. It is a time for people to gather as friends and celebrate what they are thankful for! Most people are inspired during the holidays to try new recipes and host parties. Friendsgiving gives people the opportunity to gather away from the family to celebrate things such as friendship and fellowship. It is a celebration with delicious food, games, and fun!

On the downside, hosting a dinner party for your friends could potentially be stressful. No matter, marketers take the time to supply you with everything you need! Things such as cute decorations, and food ideas. For example, Whole Foods Market has dedicated an entire blog to Friendsgiving. Their wish is to help supply people with tips on organizing  parties, breaking down recipes, and selecting a menu. This is very effective because the hosts of Friendsgiving will feel less stress because of the tips. Not only will the brand reach its target audience, they also have the chance to advertise their brand. Advertising is a huge portion of the holiday season.

Another example of brands executing their adaptation to holiday trends is Amazon offering deals on Friendsgiving items such as t-shirts, frames, photo wall accessories, and decor items to set the table. Friendsgiving has become a central part of the Holiday season due to brands adopting advertising tactics to promote it.

Advertisers always find ways to adapt to their target markets. Friendsgiving is a perfect example of them doing so. This exposure does not have to be a negative thing! They want to include people and ensure that everyone has a good holiday season. So this holiday season kick back and enjoy fellowship with your best friends remembering the reason for the season!

-Hannah Smith