This holiday season consumers are thinking small. So small, in fact, that the space under the Christmas tree may appear a bit empty for some on Christmas morning. However, market researchers are seeing an ongoing trend of quality over quantity, and this holiday season looks to continue that trend.
It’s been confirmed: Madonna will be playing the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVI. “Once provocative and now preserved, Madonna has been added to a list of acts considered safe by the NFL since the 2004 wardrobe malfunction,” says entertainment marketing expert David Allan, Ph.D. While she has earned her place in history as a mega pop-star icon, Allan questions whom the NFL is trying to reach with this halftime act.
Preparing for the holiday season is a marathon these days, with Americans testing their endurance beginning in November and crossing the finish line around mid-January. Given that most companies work in a global environment which operates 24/7, employees are challenged to find time to get everything accomplished.
Holiday shoppers across the nation have begun their yearly purchase-frenzy, but even with events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday driving sales, preliminary studies have shown that consumers plan to spend only as much as they did last year. Facing a predicted flat line in profits rather than the increase retailers prefer, marketers for many well-known companies are taking non-traditional routes to bring in business.
Once upon a time, bored students in classrooms distracted themselves with note-passing and whispering. Thanks to increasing wireless capabilities and the expanse of cell phone usage, however, today's students can cure their boredom with text messaging and recreationally surfing the Internet, providing an infinite amount of material from which to distract themselves from their classroom work.
With the start of every winter holiday season come the mainstays of American Christmas: the toy commercials, 24-hour holiday radio stations, Christmas trees and photos with Santa. Amidst it all, families of minority cultures and religions often struggle to establish themselves in the pervasiveness of secularized Christmas.
At Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Joseph Cifelli, Ed.D., assistant professor of science education, recently surveyed his undergraduate students about their preferences in Halloween treats. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups was the hands down most popular choice, followed by Snickers, Swedish Fish, Twix and Skittles. "It's clear that our students reflect the national consumer trend and candy is still the number one Halloween treat," says Dr. Cifelli.
It’s that holiday time of year again, and many people shopping for Christmas trees are facing a perennial question: which is the greener choice – real or fake? Climate change expert Clint Springer, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, says that while he prefers real trees because of their environmental benefits, consumers who buy artificial trees can find other ways to “green” their holidays.
Hillary Clinton's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination certainly has Americans and the world talking. Her historic move also speaks volumes about the ever-growing role of women in politics. As a former First Lady, does Clinton have some advantages? One Saint Joseph's University historian says yes.
A handful of Super Bowl commercials have already been released online, with more to come in the next few days. This is all part of a growing trend by advertisers to pre-release commercials to build social media buzz and drive consumers to channels devoted to the product.
“It’s like opening your Christmas presents on Christmas Eve,” says David Allan, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.