Serious Studies



I'm very interested in the current trend invented by the sales and marketing people at America, Inc. by which days of the week are being branded.  Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, was invented during the 1960s, according to Wikipedia, which is right more times than people give it credit for.  Cyber Monday was invented around 2004 by the National Retail Federation, supposedly in response to their observation that online sales went up the Monday after Black Friday.

Did you buy anything on Cyber Monday? I didn't, although around noon that day I experienced a tremendous urge to purchase something online. I didn't understand why at the time, but now I do. It was the collective unconscious pulling me into a transaction it wanted to make. Thank goodness I took a nap instead, or I might have sprung for that Barcalounger.

I find myself liking this meta-branding that's being done for us. It means all the pesky decision-making that usually goes into shopping and buying as individuals is eliminated, and we can simply plunge into the warm, sticky group mind for such important issues. I think other days should be coined for a variety of purposes. Indeed, a day without branding should be anathema to us. What would we do on such a day? Who would lead us to the appropriate trough?

Some suggestions:

  • Tough It Out Tuesday: Specials are offered to people who want to spend whatever money they have on discretionary items, even though they've fallen on hard times.
  • Wacky Wall Street Wednesday: The third Wednesday in every month is given over to the purchase of stocks and bonds. Brokerages could offer special deals to make the day worthy of its new positioning.
  • Think About Other People Thursday: We'd take one Thursday every year to consider the situations of people other than ourselves. What a concept!
  • Foreclosure Friday: Banks offer cheap homes left vacant by their irresponsible lending practices.
  • Suck-It-Up Saturday: One day a year, we recognize the difficulties faced by those whose bonuses are suddenly only eight digits long.

This is only the beginning. Days could be the recipients of multiple brands, of course. Cyber Monday only comes once a year, leaving plenty of room for Mortgage Monday or Madoff Monday, depending. Whole months could also be branded -- how have we lived this long without Over-Leveraged October?

9 Comments Add Comment


So good I don't even know where to start. I must give it reflection over a glass or two of Rioja this evening.

Cyber Woods: doors open at 2:30 AM! Get here quick!

I think Saturday was "buy-nothing" Saturday.

Soul Searching Sunday...when you admit that the life-long ritual of Sunday afternoon work-related depression was gloriously superior to No-Job Monday.

On an aside...I today had the experience of welcoming back an employee who retired less than 10 months employee who stridently told me at retirement that his real life was about to begin, and that I would know when it was time to leave. I wish he knew it was time to stay gone.

I think you have the marketing guys figured out. They take any day, wrap it in pretty paper and give it a fancy name. The bottom line is that we always come away with more of our money in their pockets.

Isn't this a great country?!

Commercialization is what it is: Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of red and gold wrapped for display in the window so bold.

Santa's red and white costume with tinsel aglow, conceals his hollow torso for show!

We become so enamored with giving after Thanksgiving that we hammer the spending for a New Year's traumatic ending!

Hold on there a second Bing - don't mess with our Naked Tuesdays.

Bing, you're behind the times by a few decades. 'Bun Rab', a character in Walt Kelly's 'Pogo' comic strip, used to spout off endless lists of almost-recognizable holidays (the original brand-name days), the more nonsensical the better.

Bun Rab, now that I think of it, must have been the prototype for the Energizer Bunny, complete with omnipresent base drum.

Gosh I miss ol' Walt and his community of whimsically-awry swamp dwellers. Seems we need their fumble-tongued wisdom of late.

I noticed you completely forgot Sunday,

We could call it SAD Sunday, a day we all get to think about the mistakes we made on those other days.

A day we decide which kid doesn't go to college so we can pay for those other days.