Today’s Marketing Cookie – Dreams and Fears

EZsocialmedia resource picks:

Today's Marketing Cookie - Your dream must be bigger than your fear.

"Your dream must be bigger than your fear."

Today’s fortune came from Cathy Harrison of Hopkinton, MA. Cathy runs her own consulting business, specializing in market  and social media research for a wide range of industries. Her customers will tell you that Cathy is one of those rare research people who is as personable as she is insightful and smart, and I would have to agree. I’ve had the pleasure of working together with Cathy in the AMA, and I highly recommend you follow her on Twitter: @virtualMRX

Today’s Marketing Cookie is about dreams and fears.

While you were out with the family watching fireworks on the fourth of July, you may have noticed Halloween candy oozing onto store shelves. In August, while we were still going to the beach and flipping burgers on the grill, you probably noticed a frenzied line up of Halloween movies (for kids) taking over the theaters such as, Paranorman, Franken Weenie, Hotel Transylvania, and Dark Shadows. (Not to mention at least a dozen ridiculously scary and blood curdling movies for adults too.) By September, all the costume stores have already cranked up the volume to eleven (and beyond) selling wigs, plastic weapons, cheap costumes, and fake blood through an ever increasing number of temporary retail locations.


Well, it’s finally October, and the much hyped, overly promoted, ever inflated Halloween holiday is but just a few days away. The TV is loaded with every conceivable Halloween movie that has ever been produced, and the houses are decorated with carved pumpkins – frozen in unspeakable expression, bedsheet ghosts hanging from the trees, as well as creepy corn stalks and fake cob webs – all inviting a chilly darkness into the imagination. However, before the first child has had the opportunity to get dressed up, and before they have had a chance to knock on the next door neighbor’s door to say, “trick or treat.”, the stores have already shifted gears and begun to promote Christmas.

What have we done?

Marketers have successfully kidnapped almost every innocent holiday, strapped them down on a stainless operating table, pulled out the innards and origins, in order to create an all consuming monster. We’ve stolen the soul of each holiday and replaced it’s heart with a BUY button. Yes. There’s now an app for that. We’ve removed all traces of spontaneous imagination and replaced such creativity with party kits. We’ve removed the spirit from our holidays and sewn together a shopping cart full of commercials, merchandise and hoopla… and the batteries are still not included.

I dream of seeing our society come together for one night and participate as a community in holiday festivities like Halloween. My fear though, as a marketer, is that we’ve commercialized every ounce of organic joy from our holidays. 

I dream of seeing the joy on my kids’ faces when they’ve gone out into the night, and filled their bags with an unimaginable amount of candy. My fear is that our push for profits has squeezed every last drop of living from our ability to make memories.

It is in fact, a dream of mine that my children have an opportunity to enjoy the same pleasures I had in my youth. My fear is that we’ve attempted to fabricate and manufacture some sort of synthetic happiness that sucks life away from my dreams and replaces them with a plastic smile – made in China. 

I dream that my children will genuinely want to wear costumes, that they will say “trick or treat” with sincerity, and maybe get a few goose bumps when being startled by a quick rustling of leaves in the shadows. Are we still capable of creating memories, or must we go out and buy them in recycled bags? If you are like me, you dream that they will authentically enjoy and cherish these moments as a right of passage into adulthood… and as today’s fortune says,  “Your dream must be bigger than your fear.”

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