Black Friday

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early and offer promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season.  Black Friday indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are “in the black.”

Let’s take a look at some activities from the NIE tab called Meet Me at the Mall distributed by the NIE Institute.

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Buy Now! … Please?

Right now — as you’re reading this — there’s a battle going on. It’s a battle for your business, and every store, restaurant, and company wants to win you over as a customer. Here are some of their “weapons”:

Advertising— Whenever you pick up a newspaper, turn on a radio, open the mailbox, or watch TV, there’s an advertisement waiting for you.

Pricing — Price alone can convince shoppers to buy —or not to buy. Location and display— Retailers work to make their store and its merchandise attractive to customers.

Service— Good service helps create loyal customers.

It Pays to Advertise - Many retailers look at advertising not as an expense, but as an investment: For every dollar they spend, they hope to get $20, $50, or $150 back. Most ads say one of five things to you:

1. “You need this” You’re told that you need the productto be happier, wealthier, better-looking, safer, or more comfortable.

2. “You’ll want this because I like it”  A celebrity tells you how much he or she likes the product.

3. “Image is everything”  The ad itself is so cool — or funny — it makes you want to buy the product.

4. “Everybody else is buying this”  You’re told that if you don’t buy the product, you’ll feel left out.

5. “Buy this because it’s a great deal”  The ad appeals to the bargain hunter in you.

ACTIVITIES - As a class, go through the newspaper and assign each student a different ad to analyze. Answer the following questions about your ad and take turns reporting to the class:

• Which of the five advertising techniques listed above is used in this ad? (There might be more than one.)

• What age group is the target of this ad?

• What do you like about the ad?

• What do you dislike?

• Is the ad effective — would it make you want to buy or act?

• Using a scale of 1 (doesn’t work) to 10 (sign me up), rate the ad for its overall effectiveness.

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