Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Shopping Bargain-Barrage...The Commercials Begin

Well, Thanksgiving is over, and according to my TV, it is time to IMMEDIATELY turn our attention to storming the malls in our flak jackets and helmets and getting THE BEST DEAL possible on EVERYTHING WE WANT.  Ugh.

WalMart, Target and Kohl's have adopting the advertising strategy of portraying women as over-caffeinated, dangerously wacko bargain-hunters who will knock you over in the aisles and stomp on your toddler to get to the latest cool "must-have," and finish  off their list.  Is this a mirror of how we really are, or a ploy to get us to become this way?

This year we need bargains, for sure.  The smart company would have an advertising roll-out beginning with a commercial of an average woman (c'mom, we do most of the shopping; it's true!!) explaining how she definitely needs a great deal on her items this year, and XYZ Company helps her to get this deal, with a price she can trust.  She could even, God forbid, tell us that she is looking forward to relaxing - instead of being an over-stimulated freak show - and enjoying the true gifts of the season, due to the ease of shopping thanks to XYZ Co.  Now that's a company that I would support.  I'm sick of the blatant commercialism and not so blatant female-stereotyping of this year's ads already - and it's not even December!  Yikes!

And... Heaven help you car companies that try to tell us that we should have a car with a bow on it sitting in the driveway to show our love to that special someone this Christmas; pease just run an ad that says, "Look, we sell cars, and when you have some money for a great lease or purchase, come on down and talk to us; we'll be here waiting to serve you.  But this year, we want to just wish you Merry Christmas, and alert you to the fact that a small portion of our annual earnings are going to help families of the military.  We've got that covered, and we'll look forward to seeing you in the showroom soon!"  That's a dream ad.  And that's a car company that I would consider - and isn't that the goal?

Commercialism at Christmas is a fact in America.  But it is up to you to turn on your filter, and be the person - and shopper - you want to be this holiday season.  I have a vow that I am shopping when I want and how I want, even if it is on December 24th.  Now go get 'em...at your own pace.  :-)

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