19 Feb

Too early?

Chopped daffodils are available for sale. I’ll repeat that: chopped daffodils are available for sale.
I’ll come back to this point, but keep it in mind.

Now think back a bit. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the hype for the John Lewis Christmas ad start at the end of August, last year? In fact, didn’t the hype for Christmas in general start at the end of August?

And I received my first Christmas, charity direct mail appeals at the start of October – that’s almost three months before the festival itself.

No sooner were Christmas items gone from store shelves, Easter eggs and other promotional items began to appear.

Then, from mid-January, Valentine’s Day was being promoted – with shop windows and advertising platforms plastered with hearts and offers of special ‘meal deals’.

Before the Valentine’s Day promos were done (in fact, before the day was here), Mother’s Day was being advertised – cards, places to eat, gifts etc.

And now – coming back to the original point – daffodils are for sale at a number of major high street retailers: chopped, closed-up daffodils – like rows of asparagus.
They’re available just four weeks before they’ll naturally be in bloom in just about every park and garden in the UK. If anything was indicative of the fact that commercialism is moving too fast, it’s this.

It’s not good though. People – consumers – are growing weary of being bombarded with messages so far in advance of the event itself: it feels like the advertising for each festival/day/time of year goes on forever.

I think it’s part of the reason retailers had the worst Christmas in a decade and Boxing Day sales fell for the third year running.

We’re fed up of being hammered with commercial messages so early, and, therefore, for such a long time: it’s like Usain Bolt taking a 200-metre run-up to the 100-metre sprint.
Everything is happening too early, for too long, and consumers are tired of it – and nothing says this more than chopped daffodils for sale in February.

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