By: Malcolm Kelner
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, that means one of the most important events in the marketing world is almost here too. Black Friday.
Naturally, Emerson’s Understanding Consumers class was discussing the annual consumer bonanza, and the approaches of different companies to reach customers and maximize their sales.
In a Power Point slideshow, Professor David Quintana showed some examples of how Black Friday has gone too far, with instances of people getting severely injured and even killed after getting trampled in mobs following the opening of stores.
That’s when junior marketing minor Robert Giles raised his hand to join the discussion, and what he said next was truly incredible.
“Isn’t the whole thing kind of hypocritical?” Giles asked. “The customers at these stores were just having Thanksgiving dinner a couple hours ago and saying all the things they were thankful for that money can’t buy… and then they leave their families to go get in line to buy all this material stuff. Doesn’t really add up, right?”
Predictably, the room went dead silent, as no one else in the class, including the professor, knew how to react.
With just some simple logic, Giles had completely turned the idea of Black Friday upside down, and exposed it for what it really is: conspicuous consumption that is the antithesis of everything we just celebrated during Thanksgiving.
And now that we think about, he’s totally right! We all used to think of Black Friday as an amazing and perfect event in our society, but thanks to this brilliant young mind having the courage to question it, we’ve realized it’s not that great after all.
In fact… ready? Maybe Black Friday is even more bad than good. Maybe instead of rushing out to get that latest new electronic item, we should actually stay in to celebrate the things that matter, like family and friends.
Now those are the types of things we should really be thankful for.
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