[Letters] Too many anniversaries for commercial purposesNowadays there are too many anniversaries for commercial purposes. For instance, Nov. 11 is Pepero (kinds of chocolate candy bar) Day and March 3 is Samgyupsal (Korean-Style bacon) Day. These are typical examples of “anniversary marketing.” Unlike Parent’s Day (May 8), these days are a result of “seasonal marketing,” a favorite strategy for companies since late 1990s to take advantage of the general public’s tendency to think of anniversaries as a special worthy of celebration.
Companies not only enjoy the increased demands during the period but also make bumper profits by raising the price of their products. A company which produces Pepero, makes 80 percent of their year income on Pepero Day alone. This ruins the pure meaning of exchanging gifts between lovers, friends and families. The phenomenon is also blamed for turning our society into ever-materialistic one.
This is not the only problem. Companies’ sly marketing strategy does not stop there because they turn existing holidays into days for selling more products. Businesses, for example, produce premium carnation sets for Parent’s Day to encourage students to spend more money on expensive sets they can’t afford. Valentine’s Day is another. Originally, it is the day for exchanging small gifts or cards between lovers to show their love and commemorate St. Valentine. Today, however, most people have the misperception that a woman gives chocolate to a man whom they love on Valentine’s Day.
Too many anniversaries can make people indifferent to and detract attention from actual meaningful days. Some students like National Liberation Day just because it is a holiday. They don’t know the exact meaning or the historical background of the day. Also, people pay less attention to anniversaries like Parent’s Day or Teacher’s Day. People seem to be confused about which is more valuable or significant between those national holidays and manufactured anniversaries. Companies must realize that seasonal marketing makes customers be confused about what holidays are really about.
by Jung Hyun-jun Student at Dongguk University