21 December 2016

Making the most of holiday commercialisation

| Rachel Moore
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Christmas advertising

12 days of Christmas – Day 5 – Why is Christmas advertising everywhere in October?

On the fifth day of Christmas The RiotACT gave to me – a comprehensive guide to dealing with Christmas in the Territory.

Why is Christmas advertising everywhere in October?

A plague of confusion greeted all Australians when we didn’t see much Christmas garb hitting the shelves until very late October or early November this year. Circa 1990s advertisers dictated a societal shift south of December 1 making Australian Christmas, in marketing to consumers at least, more of a winter affair. Decorations, gift packs, bon-bons and stocking fillers had been arriving on the shelves earlier and earlier. Until this year. This year it seemed eerily quiet as no singing elves mocked us in their hundreds from the K-mart aisles. There is one simple reason. Halloween, October 31st.

Advertisers have created a whole new space in the Australian market by encouraging us to celebrate Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve – where allegedly the dead can walk amongst us. This is unsurprising when half of the world is planning for a zombie apocalypse (seriously though, do you have a store of organic seeds to grow food after phase four of the zombie annihilation, send RiotACT a private Facebook message or comment below). We are relatively young as a nation and still an emerging culture. In very technical marketing terms Australia is ripe for the picking. Is this good or bad? Much like the zombie attacks we will have to wait and see.

Another American phenomenon having a big impact on the majority of Australians’ Christmas is Black Friday. Black Friday is when online stores (it hasn’t hit us in physical stores much just yet) offer massive discounts, sometimes up to 75% off recommended retail prices. Celebrated the day after the popular American holiday Thanksgiving, since 1951 it has been the start of the American Christmas shopping season. According to US economics magazine the balance, in 2015 74.2 million people shopped in the US on Black Friday and spent US$626.1 billion.

Often marketing campaigns can be directly passed on from the American consumer to Australia without taking our unique, playful and humorous culture into consideration. It’s a bit late now, but here are some tips on pre-Christmas and pre-Boxing Day sale savings. Bookmark this for some tips on saving in 2017, but some still apply!

Year round sales

Most retailers have two major sales towards the end of the big seasons, summer and winter, in which they offer up to 50% further discounts on already heavily discounted items. Grab a thoughtful gift at a great price and stick it in the bottom of the cupboard or the garage for Christmas.

Google alerts

Not only can Google alerts tell you about topics you’re interested in or the latest gossip on your favourite celebrity, they can alert you to sales. Pop in the items you’re interested in, including the word sale and you can find out when and where the best deals are.

Create a fake email account

There is nothing worse than getting a trillion and five emails a day for all the loyalty programs you have joined. Create a fake account with a witty name like thisisanemail@email.com and not only do you get to give the retail staff member who is entering your loyalty club data a giggle fit, but a non-cluttered, offer free personal account. Then you can log on at leisure in your lunch break and peruse shoes, clothes and comics until your heart is content.

Boxing Day Christmas

Boxing Day Christmases are becoming increasingly popular with people waiting until after December 25 to give their nearest and dearest the perfect pressie . The savings are massive and deals are aplenty, but it’s up to each individual to see if they can indeed handle the crowds. You might like a later article in this 12 Days of Christmas series, how to deal with the Christmas crowds.

Combine your dime

Maybe the perfect present for your in-laws is a holiday, far far away from where you will be enjoying the festive season break. Why not asking siblings, friends and family to all chip in to buy your loved one an extra special gift, like a holiday. Some larger families even do secret Santa with eachother so costs don’t blow out.

*On a personal note the author of this article didn’t complain too much about the Halloween costumes and nabbed herself multiple funky coloured wigs in the post October 31 sales. Best wig by far was black with silver streaks, for a ginormous cost of $2.50. When questioned later by family members as to why one might need any wigs at all, she generously gifted each person their very own personalised bitchy resting face. A huge fan of Black Friday, she also purchased those same family members Christmas gifts that are reflective of their thoughts on her wigs.

Do you have any tips that you use to save money or buy up big on Christmas specials? What do you do to save up for Christmas?

Up next is your comprehensive guide on dealing with Christmas in the territory. The RiotACT brings you: Day 6 – How to deal with the Christmas crowds

You might also like to check out Day 4Believe it or not – how to deal with the dreaded Santa Claus question

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