Case Studies Blog

Has Black Friday replaced Good Friday?

8th December 2014

Sunday mornings are no longer the best time to go to church because families are too busy juggling shopping, children’s activities and home improvements, the Church of England has suggested.

You only had to take a look at the crowds on Black Friday to realise that on Sunday everyone is probably at home trying the decipher the unintelligible instructions on their newly acquired  “bargain” television and tending to the wounds gained during the rather unseemly fight with another “bargain hunter” to keep possession of the goods they had grabbed.  Such scenes amply demonstrate to me that some things are worth fighting over even if it is the season of good will.

As a marketeer I will admit that I felt rather disgusted by the scenes broadcast about Black Friday. I realised that these scenes represented a very small number of outlets and that such scenes are nothing new. The traditional Harrods January sale depicts very similar behaviour every year but somehow Black Friday reached a new low for me. The ferocity of the fight juxtaposed against the low value and quality of the merchandise on offer posed a real moral dilemma for me. The professional in me gave rather grudging credit to the marketing brains that managed to stir up such customer excitement about goods of such little intrinsic worth while the human side wondered if these same people would fight quite so determinedly to protect someone being attacked in the street or spend some of the money they “saved” on a TV to pay for a meal for a homeless person.

I love my job, marketing is a great profession but sometimes I wonder if we are letting things go a little too far. For some people these are truly desperate times and we would be wise not to add fuel to the fire by encouraging such materialist behaviour.