Marketing Seasons


Lights are Great During The Holidays, But a Nuisance After Flickr Credit: Patti Haskins

I think you’ll agree with me that Christmas lights on homes in November and December are super cool. Christmas lights on houses in May and June are just wrong. Hence, the purpose of my post today is talk about marketing seasons and whether or not some top marketers are super cool in knowing the proper length of time to run their campaigns.


First up…the Starbucks Holiday cups. We all know them and when they are in our hands then it is in our heads that the holidays are upon us.  Guess what? The new holiday cups have already arrived and are being held hostage at your local Starbucks until November 1.

Starbucks Holiday Cups Hit the Stores November 1 -Flickr Credit: Mastemaq

Yes, that’s right. The day after Halloween Starbucks thinks its time to start getting ready for the holidays. With that, comes your favorite perennial drinks like Eggnog lattes and Peppermint While Chocolate Mocha (I can taste it now). But, don’t you think it might be a tad bit too early? I mean don’t you think Starbucks is short-changing fall and Thanksgiving a bit. I mean I love the Pumpkin Spice latte too, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the Peppermint Mocha. Do we ever get a breather from October through January 1? I mean we’ve got Halloween costumes to buy, then turkeys and pumpkin pies and after all that Christmas presents. It’s buy, buy, buy.


On another note, I’d like to take a look at Month-long marketing celebrations like October being Breast Cancer Awareness month. This was a time that was personal to me and I did my best to bring attention to its importance and even turned this blog into pink hues to commemorate this campaign. There were newspaper features, TV news segments and movies of the week devoted to this cause at the start of the month. But as we end it…have you noticed it is petering out.  This weakening is making me feel that a month may be too long of a time to sustain a movement. I mean couldn’t it all have been just as worthwhile, marketingwise, if it was just a week!


If you are a marketer I hope that you carefully examine the length of your campaigns. It’s so important to stay in that sweet spot of effectiveness. If you ask me I’d tell you its a better practice to end an campaign on a high note, then extend one too long. Seasons are tricky so do your research. I don’t want you to lose the impact of your brilliant marketing campaigns, because you left your Christmas lights up too long.

Me. Well you’ve guessed it. I’ve taken down my “pink” breast cancer color with this post…I hope I did it before it became un-cool and come Tuesday, I’ll be in line for my Peppermint Mocha.

See ya online.


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14 thoughts on “Marketing Seasons

  1. My wife has been clapping her hands with excitement every time we passed another store or department fully marketing their Xmas products, but last week it was official .. we saw our very first Xmas TV commercial with a Santa in it!

    I just didn’t get the same excitement as my wife did, seeing reindeer and elves in early September when everybody was going back to school. I usually buy Xmas gifts in the week(s) before Xmas!! Not months before

  2. You are so right, Cindy. There are already Christmas decorations and presents in some stores, and by the time Christmas actually gets here I will be SOOOOO SICK of it! I think the same thing definitely applies to marketing, but I think the length of the campaign depends on what your campaign is about. Some topics need more time and others less.

  3. I don’t like the Christmas cup coming out right after Halloween, what happened to Thanksgiving?

    I think you are right about a month being too long for a campaign, what that does is make people procrastinate to take action because they feel they have all this time to act.

  4. I suppose Starbucks could make a case for Pumpkin Spice being appropriate during both Thanksgiving & Christmas. After all, isn’t pumpkin pie part of the Thanksgiving meal? But I agree that marketers keep pushing Christmas up earlier and earlier. I would have thought it couldn’t get any earlier than November 1, but apparently (per Susan), some have pushed it before Halloween, although I have yet to see them myself. BTW, I don’t even have any Halloween decorations up yet! (Just slow, I guess.)

  5. I can totally relate to this Cindy. I hate seeing holidays run into each other and I love the Peppermint mocha and pumpkin latte equally. Could never get into trying the egg nog though. I love those red cups. I like that Starbucks does that. It’s so festive and always puts me in the mood. Great blog post. I really enjoyed reading this. :)

  6. I guess Christmas is around the corner. I’m at Starbucks right now (home away from home). One more week until the red cups appear…Need a little bit more of Fall first…

  7. I hate the build-up to Christmas, but don’t see us escaping until the zombie apocalypse. Thanksgiving is now just a day for pigging out before the Black Friday sales.

    As for month-long campaigns, I’m divided. I think some causes are worthy of a month’s worth of promotion (if not more!). I’m in the midst of preparation for a month-long awareness campaign for knowledge management (our 10th year doing this) and while it’s a lot of work, it’s effective. I think the issue is that a month may be too long for some people who already “get” the message. But there’s still many more that need to hear it.

  8. Retailers have been stretching out holiday seasons for decades. To my knowledge the practice has never demonstrably boosted sales in meaningful way, just shifting when the register drawers open. Ask not for whom the till rings, it rings for you.

  9. When I lived in Southern California I loved the early Thanksgiving and Christmas promotions and tolerated Christmas trees in September at Costco. Even if the seasons really didn’t change I still got the feeling of a new season. But I agree with you about the length of a campaign. You want people to want more…rather than forgetting it because the campaign was too long. Great thoughts!

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