Monday, November 20, 2006

De Kijk van Van Dyck: Santa and his marketing

We're in the middle of November, but you'd think it was Christmas Eve looking the way some stores are decorated. Ad age reports that according to a survey by Big Research, 40,4% of American consumers started to shop for Christmas before Halloween this year, up from 40,1% in 2005. A lot of retailers in the US, are doing their best to be the first to get Santa in their stores.

Getting out early in the top-of-mind, at least theoretically, should help retailers log fatter margins. But Roger Adems, chief marketing officer of Home Depot, argues they want to maintain the integrity of each holiday. 'If you got too early you can violate the sensibilities of the public and people can sometimes resent that', he thinks.

And in Belgium, things are still more complicated. There's the 'Good and Holy man' who comes on December 6th, right in between Halloween and Christmas. Our 'Sinterklaas' and Santa are competitors. And they see themselves confronted with difficult marketing questions. Read all about it in this week's column.

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