Marketers are in the midst of their Super Bowl season. Gifting promotions are out, and from here through clear of New Year’s there is a continuous drumbeat of events getting us to buy, buy, buy.
Before we have even had a chance to stuff ourselves with too much turkey, holiday discounts are already underway. Then post-Thanksgiving, we’ll have Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and Small Business Wednesday. This veritable marketing orgy culminates in retailers making about $602 Billion with a “B” off the holiday season.
All this product pushing is putting many of us in debt. Consumer counseling agencies see a 25% increase in the number of people seeking help in January and February, and most of that traffic is propelled to their doors by those mounting holidays bills.
The waste from all this product also has a tremendous toll on the planet. And it couldn’t be more significant timing that this marketing push is happening at the same time as the world’s leaders are getting together to try to solve the planet’s climate problem, which is accelerating precisely because of all this disposable consumption.
When we think it’s all over, the presents all unwrapped, when all that is left is the guilt from the glut, we’re pushed to purchase yet again. This time gym memberships that we may never use. An eighth of new members join fitness clubs in the month of January.
But even then the marketing is not over! After all that encouraged consumption and redemption, we’re pushed one final marketing message: to start it all over again. As one significant marketing publication put it:
“A consumer’s mindset changes drastically once the New Year hits. Right up until the final minutes of December 31, they are stuffing their faces, getting drunk, spending money, acquiring stuff, and gaining weight.
Something magical happens on January 1st. They transform. Instantly, consumers possess high levels of self-control, steely resolve, and a determination to ‘be a better person.’ This is your chance to make a marketing pounce.”
We will not be pounced on.
We’re wrestling the holidays back from marketers. All of this marketing and spending is not why we have the holidays to begin with. Of course, buying gifts for loved ones is wonderful and sharing a decadent meal cooked with friends and family can bring us closer. It can be wonderful when we, not marketers are in control.
Throughout the holiday season we’ll be sharing different perspectives on what the holidays mean to us. If you’re interested in submitting your essays, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow we will open our Holiday Shop. The selection of items represents the relationships we have formed throughout the year and that we’re excited to share with you. There’s no gimmick of products that give back, or self-serving claims that we’re using proceeds to build a playground. They are simply pieces that we hope will last, will bring joy, that are made by talented people with quality materials.
It’s our effort to return to the meaning behind why we gift. A gesture of appreciation, of love, of affection for the people you care about all year long, of bonds that we want to celebrate.
Cheers to taking back the holidays.