Americans have a new reason to ramp up their massive consumerism! Cyber Monday has arrived! Ok, so the term has existed for a few years now, but I’m hearing it for the first time. Cyber Monday is the day when supposedly online sales peak. So we are encouraged to celebrate by buying more! Now I’m not opposed to online retailers using the term as an excuse to offer great discounts and sell things at a cheaper price. I support any excuse to discount items. What I hate is how Cyber Monday is presented to us all as the day when we’re supposed to buy things online. And it’s done in a “didn’t you know this already?” fashion.
To me it’s like someone giving themselves a nickname and then expecting everyone to think they are special because they have this cool nickname. It’s not a special day! If they, in their attempt to make it special want to offer discounts, then that’s nice. But for the media to treat it like a Black Friday is preposterous. You don’t see the news reporting on the effect of the Foley’s Red Apple sale do you? But you do see this and this. It’s advertising. “Cyber Monday” sales are strong because the deals are strong. Not because everyone is in the shopping mood and suddenly returning to their cubicles with their high-speed internet and buying Christmas presents on company time! I haven’t done the research to support my statement. I’m relying on a little wisdom from the rarely cited source, common sense. Plus I’m encouraged by whispers of affirmation I received from wikipedia. But that’s just wikipedia and I haven’t taken the time to review their sources.
If you don’t believe that it is all advertising hype which the media is supporting by making a “story” out of it please just look at this “article” on mlb.com. That my friends, is advertising. Do not be fooled by the fact that it’s the first article listed in the headlines section. Kudos, by the way, to NFL.com and NBA.com as they don’t list anything about “Cyber Monday” on their home page. Granted they aren’t in the offseason like the MLB is, but if you don’t think MLB.com would look like that regardless then you don’t visit the site often. They seed advertising into their news year round. It’s normally not so silly though. Nascar has a big “Cyber Monday” graphic, but it is straight-up good, honest advertising. Well as honest as anything with the term “Cyber Monday” can be.
I’ve said it before. Americans don’t like being advertised to in secret. Forcing this “Cyber Monday” concept into our consciousness falls in to that category. The mainstream media has become an advertising outlet in ways that it was never intended to be. Granted, it needs advertising to survive. That’s we have commerical breaks, sidebar ads and yes, even annoying pop-up windows. For the advertising to enter into the media’s content is a shame.