Happy Festivus everyone! With the annual debate and debacle over the use of “Christmas” and related symbolism, this clip came across my desk as a breath of fresh air. I share it with you not to stimulate that debate of “Holiday” vs. Christmas but to pose interesting Marketing questions that come to mind. First, enjoy:
As for the encouraged debate, CitizenLink has a forum open for just such discussion.
At Pubcon last week, Did-it’s Kevin Lee posited that Geo segmentation can be the most effective form of paid search optimization. This video drives home for me that it is not segmentation but personalization that is most effective.
Whether or not the use of “Holiday” in place of “Christmas” is really the issue at hand, reporter (?) Stuart Shepard effectively points out that Hearth Song is promoting Holiday savings and Shutterfly enables their customers to make “Holiday cards with Holiday designs” yet, who celebrates Holiday? He further cites that sure, marketers can claim to be referring to all the holidays this time of year but there are only 3 that come to mind for me: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. I’m not buying gifts for Thanksgiving or New Years and I’m certain friends don’t intend to buy gifts for anything more than Hanukkah. I’m not celebrating Holidays for which I’m buying decorations, greeting cards, and gifts so why market to me as though that were the case?
On the radio this morning, I heard Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty incredulous at the discovery of “Santa Blend” coffee gift packages at a major bookstore. As they complained of the fear of marketers in saying “Christmas” with such an obvious and relevant opportunity to market to their clearly intended audience, my mind wandered to thoughts of what exactly goes into making the Santa Blend? Fine Columbian Dark Roast with ground St. Nicholas? Seems to me that has more religious implications than calling it a Christmas Blend. I then laughed as this pointed, contentious (if I’m offending anyone by even bringing up this topic) issue was validated by one of their own advertisers who had a commercial with an Elf as the voice talent. The Elf explained how it was his job to spread “Holiday cheer” and assist with the Holidays before the spot ended with a “Happy Holidays” …. um….. The only other holiday of which I’m aware that uses anything resembling an elf is my personal favorite ethnic holiday that takes place in March. Perhaps that elf is responsible for making Christmas toys and hiding pots o’ gold under rainbows.
To what extent does not marketing these gifts/opportunities properly alienate customers more than appealing to everyone?
The promise of online personalization, behavioral targeting, and keyword relevance will be a boon to our economy and online experience. We may shudder at the thought of big brother knowing so much about us but I for one want to know where to buy Christmas decorations and gifts to really bring in to my home the Christmas spirit. I know as much is true of friends of other faiths and beliefs; that their families don’t celebrate “Holiday.” Perhaps our celebration of Tossmass will compel marketers to do better, to do right.