No matter our religious or cultural background, we have all felt pressured during the winter season to frame a picture-perfect holiday experience. Whether it is to serve a flawless Thanksgiving dinner, create a Martha Stewart-inspired holiday home or to give (or receive) a much-desired gift, many feel a stressful frenzy ascending as the leaves continue to fall and the temperature drops.
Think you’ve seen that holiday commercial before? That’s because you have – maybe even as long ago as the 1980s. In a move to touch the nostalgic hearts of consumers this holiday season, businesses like Toys R Us are recycling the old in order to captivate younger audiences and remind their parents of times past.
While students look forward to the holidays as a chance to unwind, 'tis the season to "network before they need work," advises Brett Woodard, director of the Career Development Center at Saint Joseph’s University. Students should use this time purposefully, he says, to "plant seeds" for their career search by deepening existing relationships and expanding their network with new contacts.
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.