Prepare for the Holiday Advertising Avalanche

Small Town Optimist Column

By Cyndy Bolton

I'm guessing that the tryptophan has just let go of its grasp on your nervous system. You've re-awakened from Thanksgiving to what seems to be an unmentionable landslide, or should I seasonally equate it to an avalanche of holiday ad campaigns. Don't be fooled. If you haven't yet been tickled by the snowflake of holiday marketing, brace yourself. The avalanche is about to bury you under a mile of persuasion.

Now that the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday has passed, we have a bit of time to catch our breath before the Christmas season has arrived. Brace yourself for the ride that includes all of the sights, sounds and smells of the North Pole at high production. Consider that there are a few of us who look forward to seeing what's in store for commercial advertising regarding the holiday season. Note that it has a well-earned status as a season, which if I remember correctly usually has 3 months.

Whether you consider advertising a thorn or a rose; for the most part, it is unavoidable. Think of places in the world that are not exposed to advertising. I think of remote places in Africa and South America. Now think of places that are not affected by advertising. This number is even less than ones that are exposed because affected places reap either the benefit or the scourge of advertised word. For example, uses web 2.0 protocols and tools to give ratings on travel. Is this persuasion? The final decision of where to travel is up to you. Pick the African safari or the Amazon Jungle. The decision to spend where you want to will economically affect the host area.

To some, advertising, is a form of art; and like the wine, it depends on taste. There are web sites for those of us who enjoy seeing what the world has to offer in advertising. "" is a resource I use when compiling my annual top ads list. Please preview them before you show the kids, some are quite risqué. Favourite video ads, top ten campaigns and submissions from all over the world are at your fingertips. I prefer the clever ads that later have you and your cohorts talking around the water cooler. A fan of British whit, I like it dry enough to make me giggle; the same way I like my wine.

Speaking of wine, some say that the good ones are bold, sweet and rich, lasting the test of time. I can recall a few ads from my childhood like the Norelco's tobogganing Santa. Remember the animated Saint Nick puppet sliding down the hills on the shaver? How about Coke's ad which had the catchy tune..."I'd like to teach the world to perfect harmony..." while all of the singers assembled into the shape of a Christmas tree? That was a classic, and most certainly solidified an entirely new generation of loyal customers.

Every year we live with the threat of the avalanche. It's in our power to shut it down, or be exposed to it. The more TV you watch, or sites you browse, the higher your exposure will be. There is no 50 spf for this type of exposure. You just have to censoring what you do. Here's a test. From now until after Boxing Day, keep track of every holiday message you receive. I bet most of you won't even make it through until December first, let alone November 1st. Frankly, neither would I.

As we prepare for the season, keep grounded by staying in touch with the actual purpose of it all. Everyone has their own meaning of it. For me it's family, friends and modestly honouring what gives me purpose. Remember to find a bit of entertainment in holiday advertising. These impressions will last. The rest falls by the wayside of memory like a snowflake on a drift.