Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Scent Of Fear (And A Whiff of Panic)

I think it was Wednesday night last week when I heard the first one. Christmas ad, that is. I can’t be sure, because I wasn’t paying close attention to the TV, which was on in the background, but I thought I heard an ad for Christmas shopping at Sears.

Thursday night, I actually saw it.

The line I thought I heard, and apparently did, on Wednesday night, was “Be the Santa you want to be, at Sears.” I yelled to my wife, who was in the kitchen at the time, that it was official…I’d actually seen my first Christmas ad, three days before Halloween. Although I’m sure it was the same ad that ran the night before, four days before Halloween.

The scent of fear pervades the merchant community, with one estimate this year saying people will likely spend only about 2% more this Christmas season than last year, which was a miserably bad year for the merchants. There was another ad I heard in the past few days (you can tell I don’t really pay a lot of attention to the ads when the TV is on), I think it was for Target, talking about Black Friday.

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, which is almost universally (and inaccurately) reported by the mass media as the “busiest shopping day of the year”, although the Saturday before Christmas has been the busiest shopping day of the year for decades. And with the escalating influence of broadband internet, the way we shop for Christmas is rapidly evolving, hence the term “Cyber Monday”, a recently-coined moniker, referring to the Monday after Thanksgiving when everybody goes back to work and uses the company’s broadband connection to surf the web and shop for Christmas stuff.

Now that broadband (high-speed) internet is available in so many homes, the term “Cyber Monday” will probably be short-lived. We can surf and shop to our heart’s content, in the comfort of our home.

When the merchants start running Christmas shopping and Black Friday ads before Halloween, you know there’s panic in the air. Hang on; we’re in for a bumpy ride with desperate Christmas ads soon replacing the horrible political ads which will die tomorrow.


  1. Given your title, I thought this post would be about the Democrats' electoral prospects.

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