Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, September 22, 2021

If, like me, you were puzzled by all the Halloween decor that started appearing in stores and media right after Labor Day, the official line is that it’s in response to consumer demand:

“On newsstands, our October, November and December issues are our strongest-selling issues, year in and year out,” [Country Living vice president and publisher Steven] Grune said. “And they’re our largest ad issues, usually representing close to a third of our advertising.”

It was not too long ago that magazines waited to run Halloween ads and articles until their November issues, which are published in October. Now, readers of the October issues of magazines like Country Living; Better Homes and Gardens; and Woman’s Day, part of the Hachette Filipacchi U.S. unit of Lagardère, will find them replete with Halloween trappings.

“Halloween is like Christmas in the sense that people like to start celebrating it very early,” said Jane Chesnutt, editor in chief at Woman’s Day in New York. “If you drive through suburbia near the end of September, the Halloween decorations will be out in full force.”

Here’s my conspiracy theory for the jump on ghost-and-goblins season: Candymakers want to get their product onto store shelves weeks ahead of October 31st. Shoppers see the bags of sugar and figure they’d stock up on Halloween treats early. Then they get the candy home, start breaking into it and snacking it down little by little, until it’s all gone by the time Halloween really rolls around — at which point they have to run out to the store to resupply. Bingo! The candy companies double (at least) their sales. Sheer genius, actually.

Hey, I like Halloween as much as anyone, as evidenced by my decorating fun last year. But come on, at least wait until the calendar turns to October.

I wonder: Is Halloween expanding its holiday domain as a preemptive move against Christmas? The lead-up to the winter holiday is already notoriously exaggerated well into mid-November. Without Halloween standing in the way, you’d think we’d start seeing Santa Claus displays in October.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/22/2007 07:16:14 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Society | Permalink | Feedback

Acknowledging high divorce rates and the well-known term limit for most wedded relationships, German politician Gabriele Pauli proposes that all marriages be sanctioned with a seven-year expiration date, at which point couples either re-affirm their union or else amicably split.

Really not a bad idea. You’re required to renew other licenses via demonstrated competency: Driver’s, fishing, professional certifications — why not for marriage?

Somehow, Pauli is running for the leadership of the Bavaria’s Christian Social Union party, about as conservative a poli-club as you’ll find in Europa. And to boot, she represents the same area which the current Pope calls his home region. Not exactly the ideal proving ground for radical experimentation with a sacred institution.

Then again, not every politician does magazine spreads wearing dominatrix-like latex garb. I suppose even that gets old after seven or so years, though.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/22/2007 02:10:16 PM
Category: Politics, Society | Permalink | Feedback