Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas or Holiday Marketing?

Brandweek notes that no matter which way brands turn, they may very well be criticized for wishing buyers a hearty "Merry Christmas" or a neutral "Happy Holidays" or whatever.

The Gap is being especially inclusive with its Gap Cheer Factory, where you can click to personalize an e-mail card for Happywhateveryouwannakah. A little humor might go a long way, but of course what makes me smile might make someone else frown or boycott.

A few years ago, Walmart began to reinsert the word "Christmas" back into its year-end holiday marketing. I just checked its web site and I notice that "holiday" is as prominent as "Christmas" on many pages, such as here. Kmart has a "Christmas Countdown" and the phrase "Bring Home the Holidays with Kmart" on its site. Costco offers "Toys for the Holidays" as shown in the graphic above, but no mention of Christmas on its home page (as of today). Target, on the other hand, features a "Christmas Delivered" tag line and graphics on its home page.

It's beginning to feel a lot like . . . holiday time. Hanukkah starts this weekend, and Christmas is coming up quickly. Will shoppers make buying decisions based on holiday slogans or will price and convenience win out?

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