The Holiday Season Came Early

Posted: December 3, 2013

Topics: Strategy

Now that the holidays have officially commenced, I'd like to get something off my chest. I'm a pre-holiday scrooge. You see, I believe that there’s a sequence to be followed: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza. Well in the case of 2013, Thanksgivukkah then Christmas/Kwanza. I baulk at the sight of garland and Santa’s village set up at my favorite mall the first week of November – for goodness sake; I’m just diving into my kid’s Halloween candy! Unfortunately, big business doesn’t share my point of view.

The National Retail Federation defines the “winter holidays” as the 61 days in November and December. The holidays make or break annual budgets (hence, Black Friday). Retailers and manufacturers planned for this time of year long ago – allocating advertising and marketing budget last fall or earlier for the 2013 holiday season. They even shot their ads months ago. By the way, have you seen Kmart's "Show Your Joe" ad? I digress … that’s another blog post all together.

So, as a marketer, I get it. I understand. I participate. What I and millions of other pre-holiday marketing scrooges forget is that the dollars don’t just affect the retailers, they impact nearly every facet of their finances – from employee headcount, wage and wellness programs to prices and discounts extended to customers the following year, the quality of their products and most importantly to us, vendor budgets. As a whole, it even affects our nation’s economy - did you see the Black Friday and Cyber Monday financial reports? You may also be interested in reading the National Retail Federation’s 2012 holiday season analysis.

So next time we groan about Santa and his elves showing up in early November, or stores extending Black Friday sales a week early, let’s remember that although it’s slightly annoying, its success is crucial to workers, families, marketers, firms and the good old dollar.

In case you've been living in the dark, check out Show Your Joe.

Corinne Petras manages social strategy for PUSH 22. She integrates with our clients to create lasting, meaningful media and public relationships.