Black Friday, Green Christmas

The Holidays mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But to retailers and their marketers, the Holidays are nothing more than a dollar sign and market opportunity, especially Black Friday. But is that really so bad?

People may criticize the idea of Black Friday, turning it into the classic tale of marketers having to commercialize everything, but I’d have to disagree. I acknowledge that sometimes marketing can be greedy, over-commercialized, and even unethical, leaving little left for the sacred, but those are just the bad apples. And regardless of the marketing, people are going to buy gifts for their friends and family; there’s no changing that. Retailers are just playing the game. There is no malicious intent; they’re just doing their best to give people what they want – crazy awesome deals. There’s never been a more sure-fire way to make an attempt at increasing profits than to simply give consumers what they want. Pleasing the consumer has always been important, but it is ever increasing in this day and age when more and more consumers’ are becoming strict arbiters of their spending decisions and product/brand choices, so making them happy is vital if you ever want to increase profits and market share.

If you ask me, Black Friday is a brilliant marketing strategy. But we can’t blame any specific person for the invention. The origin of Black Friday may be linked to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades in the early 20th century. Since department stores sponsored the parade, they used it as a vehicle to launch a big push in advertising, getting consumers excited for the first official day of holiday shopping. Eventually it had become an unwritten rule that stores should not do their Christmas advertising until the parade was over. That would just be tacky. So the day following Thanksgiving naturally marked the official first day of the holiday shopping season, and marketers could advertise with a guilt-free conscience. And so a materialistic holiday that makes retailers’ cash registers ring and consumers’ wallets smile was born, and that’s ok with me.

– Andrew

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