As someone who’s spent a long career in marketing, I’m still fascinated by advertising. Most of it is shockingly bad, but some of it is somewhere between engaging and brilliant. The stakes are high for retailers this time of year, so advertisers pull out all the stops.
The biggest promotion is for cars
This one continues to astonish me–luxury car dealers seem to think that everyone has the discretionary dollars to be buying cars for their SOs for Christmas. They’re creating the expectation that we’ll wake up on Christmas morning with a small, elegantly wrapped package under the tree. A quick look outside will reveal a luxury car with a big red bow on top. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known anyone who’s ever gotten a car for Christmas.
Follow the advice of the ads and you’ll wake up fat and broke, with a hangover
Other notable ads are for alcohol and food. You’re going to be dressed to the nines, attending an endless round of galas and events as well as hosting glamorous parties for which you’ll need expensive wine and gourmet food. Online sales are way up, and we’ve been receiving catalogs from a variety of high-end retailers, including Petrossian, soliciting our dollars for caviar, smoked salmon and other high-end delicacies. Advertising is all about the power of suggestion, so if you follow the recommendations of these retailers, you’ll wake up around the first part of January fat and broke, with a giant hangover. The reality? Real people aren’t celebrating the holidays like the people in these TV ads.
Time to slow down and take care of yourself
Years ago, my family and I decided to donate to our favorite charities in each other’s behalf rather than buying gifts that we didn’t need or like. Besides supporting some very worthy causes, we just eliminated a whole lot of shopping, wrapping and schlepping.
This was our way of getting off the holiday rollercoaster and focusing on the things we loved about the holidays that didn’t cost a dime–holiday music, spending time together, playing a rousing game of Monopoly like we used to do when we were kids.
These days, I try to carry on this spirit of the holidays–contributing to something more important than myself, making time not just for my friends, but for myself.
Time to work on your marketing plan for 2016? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and marketing strategists.