Do you suppose we’ll see many Black Friday ads, Small Business Saturday stories, and Cyber Monday deals this week? We might.
Or, as Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow might say if the Warner Bros. movie, “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), were remade in 2011, “More ads and stories and deals! Oh, my!”
Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day, which is traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season.
The term, “Black Friday,” was coined by the Philadelphia Police Department sometime before 1966 to describe the massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks on the day after Thanksgiving, when downtown stores were mobbed from opening to closing. Years later, an alternative explanation started being circulated: “Black Friday” was the day when retailers began to turn a profit for the year, or were finally “in the black”.
Small Business Saturday is a relatively new shopping holiday created by American Express that is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. First celebrated in 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.
This year, Google and American Express joined forces to launch a new program called, “My Business Story”, to encourage small businesses to tell their stories through video before the second annual “Small Business Saturday,” which will be held at the end of this week. To support the program, YouTube launched a new video tool to help small business owners create personalized, professional-quality videos about their business.
On Monday, 276 videos had already been uploaded to the Small Business Gallery on MyBusinessStory’s channel on YouTube. This includes 62 videos from New York City, 42 from Los Angeles, and 19 from Chicago.
The most popular video is “My Business Story: Fizz Bath Shop.” Located in Flagstaff, AZ, Fizz Bath Shop sells all natural, mostly organic, freshly hand-crafted bath and body products.
Another popular video in the Small Business Gallery is “My Business Story: Bruxie Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches.” Located in Orange, CA, Bruxië is a new take on the authentic Belgium Waffle.
A third popular video in the gallery is “My Business Story: Amy’s Bread.” Located in New York, NY, Amy’s Bread features hand-made breads, morning pastries, decadent cookies, old-fashioned layer cakes, unique sandwiches, healthy salads, and more.
Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday immediately following Black Friday. The term, “Cyber Monday,” was coined by Shop.org, which distributed a press release on November 28, 2005, entitled, “Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”.
However, not as many marketers have created YouTube videos to promote their Cyber Monday deals. One exception is Walter Martin Sales, which used GoAnimate to make an animated video. Check out “Apple.com Cyber Monday Deals 2011 – iPad 2 and iPhone 5 Popular.”
Christmas. Of course, all the videos about are from the United States. Over in the United Kingdom, they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Small Business Saturday. So, they tend to skip straight to Christmas.
So see the new video that’s winning medals on YouTube, check out “John Lewis Christmas Advert 2011,” which was created by the Adam & Eve ad agency.
Festivus. Finally, if you don’t like any of these holiday videos, you can always celebrate Festivus, a secular holiday held on December 23 as a way to celebrate the holiday season without participating in its pressures and commercialism. Of course, then you still need to buy an unadorned aluminum “Festivus pole”, engage in practices such as the “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength”, and label easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.