Monday, December 10, 2012
All I Want For Christmas Is January 2nd
Oliver Burkeman had an interesting piece in yesterday's "Sunday Review" in the NYT. The idea: annoying Christmas music will make you spend more money.
"In these final weeks before Christmas, it may strike you that retailers have gone out of their way to make holiday shopping as unpleasant an experience as possible. The odd truth is that they probably have. And there’s a reason for that: evidence suggests that the less comfortable you are during the seasonal shopping spree, the more money you’ll spend.
So stores crank up music, repeat the same songs, over and over again, pipe in smells, race shoppers around to far-flung points of purchase and clog their heads with confusing offers. All of which makes it more likely we’ll part more readily with more money.
Take those Christmas songs — the ones that begin to play in stores in November and last for what seems like eternity. Few of us would claim to love listening to “The Little Drummer Boy” over and over; just last month, customer complaints reached such heights in Canada that Shoppers Drug Mart, the country’s largest pharmacy chain, caved to consumer pressure and announced it would switch off Christmas music “until further notice.”
I happen to like Christmas music...when it's good...like the song I posted up top. But during my retail years, I was wise enough to not flood the sound system with an incessant flow of holiday cheer. The theory Burkeman speaks of did not work in my shop. One regular customer...a real pain in the ass, but still...actually said this to me, "If I hear that Mariah Carey song one more time, I'm gonna vomit on your floor." It's true. People in my store preferred NO Christmas music while they shopped.
I still love that Mariah tune, and I don't get sick of it because I only play it a few times a year. For all her hand gestures, melismatics, and boob jobs, she did put out one fine holiday record.
I enjoy compiling Holiday Mixes, and you will see more than a few up here over the next two weeks.
Please don't be fooled. I don't enjoy this time of year. This is all about you. I'm staying jolly for you.
Let the games begin.
(And don't forget to hop on over to Burning Love? for this week's discussion on originality and whether The Beatles and the Stones really are apples and oranges.)