Sep 21 2011
For several years, it has been the practice of marketers, retailers and media companies to start making their pitches earlier and earlier for the important Christmas shopping season.
More recently, they have been moving up the calendar for Halloween. And in the last couple of years, it has become apparent that Madison Avenue is trying to start the back-to-school shopping season earlier, too.
In all instances, the efforts to fast-forward time have the same genesis: concerns about consumers’ willingness to spend money because of the economy. a dollar in hand now, the theory goes, is worth a prospective pair of dollars later – dollars that may not be spent if consumer confidence weakens.
The result is situations that prompt double takes like Halloween candy turning up on the shelves of Duane Reade drug stores in Manhattan two weeks before Labor Day. it used to be that trick-or-treat candy was not stocked by stores until after children returned to school, or at least until the day after Labor Day.what follows is a look at some additional attempts to get consumers in the mood for fall and Christmas shopping well ahead of traditional timetables. as more examples are found, Media Decoder will share them, too.
*The Sept. 12 issue of People magazine, which came out on Sept. 2, included advertisements for the “Febreze fall collection” of air fresheners, being sold at Wal-Mart stores by Procter & Gamble, and the return of Pumpkin Spice Lattes to Starbucks stores as of Sept. 6.
“Fall is in the air,” the headline on the Febreze ad read. “Breathe happy.”
*The Sept. 8 issue of Parade magazine carried an ad for M&M’s White Chocolate Candy Corn, being sold at Wal-Mart. the ad showed a red M&M’s candy dressed in a candy-corn costume for trick-or-treating.
*Two Meredith magazines with pumpkin-filled Halloween covers – Family Circle and Midwest Living – came out last week. they were followed this week by an issue of All you magazine, from the Time Inc. unit of Time Warner, with a front cover that is covered with pumpkins.
*The new York City Ballet and American Express began this week to run ads in newspapers encouraging Amex cardholders to order tickets to the ballet’s production of “George Balanchine’s the Nutcracker,” to be performed from Nov. 25 through Dec. 31.
*Retailers like Home Depot, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Sears and Wal-Mart plan to begin carrying Christmas merchandise by the end of the month. some, like Costco, have begun selling such items already.
*Advancing the holiday calendar, it turns out, is not limited to this side of the Atlantic. in Britain, according to the trade publication Marketing Magazine, Reckitt Benckiser is introducing a Christmas campaign for a color-changing candle sold as part of its Air Wick line.