Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Turkeys and Timetables

It’s a bit like the chicken and the egg question. Do the media drive consumers’ timetables when it comes to the holidays, or are consumers’ personal timetables simply reflected by the early holiday ads, sales and mass media content we see each year?

More importantly, what does this mean for the show you’re going to do tomorrow?

The holiday-themed marketing blitz has been going on for weeks. At our house it started with the grocery store’s “free Thanksgiving turkey” promise about a month ago, and was quickly followed by pre-Thanksgiving sales pitches, announcements about on-line specials that wouldn’t be available in stores, recommendations to shop before Thanksgiving and avoid the crowds, and the offering of services related to entertaining (or coping with) a houseful of relatives.

Of course it’s not just holiday marketing, it’s holiday content too.

Scanning the covers of the magazines at Barnes and Noble can make you feel like you’re judging some weird, roast turkey beauty contest.

Network nightly news programs feature stories about this year’s “must have” items, retail projections, feel-good holiday segments, and the obligatory piece about the increased cost of flying replete with last year’s footage of frustrated crowds at airports recounting their drumstick destination dilemmas.

Turn on your computer and more often than not you’ll find some sort of Thanksgiving content, from recipes to table settings to the history of the holiday.

Meanwhile on cable, the Food Network is behaving like the Weather Channel during a hurricane.

The point is, holiday content is everywhere and if it’s not already on your show, you’re behind your audience.

Big events, like holidays, are on listeners’ minds early. You’ll be the smartest talent in the market when your “content timetable” matches your listeners’ personal timetable.

No comments: