’Tis the season for Halloween
Published: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 16:10
It’s the end of October, a time for overindulging in Halloween candy, carving pumpkins, drinking apple cider and complaining about the chilly fall weather. It is not the time for sleigh bells and Santa Claus.
Halloween hasn’t even happened yet and Christmas is already being shoved in consumers’ faces. It’s overwhelming.
Kelly Clarkson released an album titled “Wrapped in Red” – with 14 Christmas songs – on Tuesday. Last week, I walked into CVS on campus to pick up some Halloween candy, and there were Christmas stockings next to the plastic tombstones.
Does anyone else see a problem with this?
Stores are so eager to make a profit on the Christmas spirit, each year it starts earlier. If this continues, we will be trick-or-treating for candy canes instead of candy corn.
Last year, Target started airing advertisements for Christmas three weeks before Halloween. The retail store was tracked by YouGov BrandIndex’s “buzz score,” which asked women above 18 years old with children: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”
In early October, before the Christmas campaign, Wal-Mart was more “buzzed about,” but after the Christmas spirit came to Target, its buzz score doubled and maintained a steady lead over Wal-Mart throughout the holiday season, according to the study on brandindex.com.
This year, Kmart started its Christmas promotions in September, 105 days before the holiday. It aired a commercial with a scene of a gingerbread man sneaking up on a woman working in an office and the voiceover says, “Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you. Shop early with Kmart free layaway … Kmart. Get in, get more Christmas.”
Christmas isn’t sneaking up on anyone; it’s making a loud and obnoxious entrance to the world that can’t be ignored.
Kmart received angry tweets and posts on the Kmart Facebook page expressing frustration about the advertisement.
I don’t blame them.
CEO and founder of BrandDeals.com Brad Wilson said in a Time magazinearticle that, in 2009, his website launched Black Friday deals in early November. If his company did that this year, it “would miss half of the holiday shopping season.”
Twelve percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping before September, 6 percent get started in September and 20 percent start in October, according to the National Retail Federation.
I am all about Black Friday shopping and getting great deals on holiday gifts, but not until after I go trick-or-treating. I understand getting the word out about holiday deals in mid-November, but mid-October, or even as early as September, is too far.
This year, the first night of Hanukkah falls the day before Thanksgiving, but none of the current holiday ads are for half off dreidels or gelt, they are for Santa dolls and stockings. The retail world needs to calm down and look at a calendar – first comes Halloween, then Hanukkah and Thanksgiving and then comes Christmas.
Let me deck my halls with a jack-o-lantern before trying to sell me some boughs of holly.