Holiday Branding

Another consumer holiday has passed—Valentine’s Day. Grocery stores, drug stores and big box retailers alike were stalked up on Valentine’s Day treats. Everywhere I looked, love slogans and warm pink hearts—in my face. Are holidays such as Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Easter being over marketed and turned into consumer nightmares? I think it’s fair to say that most holidays have become a brand.

Many companies have hopped on the holiday branding-wagon, and why not? There is a market for these branded holiday products after all… But how far have these new “brands” strayed from the original holiday spirit? Does it matter?

With my belly full of chocolate—‘tiss the season, I’m curious to know, which holiday has been branded the best? Which brand do consumers spend the most money on? Personally I would say Halloween has developed into a strong brand over the years. The costumes, the parties… I can’t even begin to count the number of events that are centered around Halloween, it’s out of control! Who wouldn’t love a holiday that allows you to change your identity if even for just one day? The costume options are endless these days—from the always-traditional Witch, to the famed personas of Marilyn Monroe or Elvis. After all, it’s Halloween the normal rules don’t apply. Young or old, single or hitched Halloween is fun for all and definitely one holiday I’m excited to spend my money on. But have we lost sight of the true meaning of All Hallows Eve?

Likewise, Valentine’s Day seems to have lost that, “love will conquer all” feeling and replaced it with the pressure of picking out that perfect diamond bracelet, playing the best (but not too clichéd love songs) for the evening’s candle-lit dinner and a movie. Where did all this stress come from? Is it the brand that now puts pressure on consumers for the best and most outrageous and original costume or romantic evening? The evolution of these holidays has been a long time in the making and while it’s interesting and a fresh take on an old concept has it gone too far? Or, are we comfortable allowing these holidays the opportunity to become even larger brands?


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