Wednesday, October 3

The Marketing of Fall

I love the change of the seasons, and I particularly love the marketing that comes with it.  This Fall has been no exception ... it's been an onslaught ever since the day after Labor Day.  And I love it.

Suddenly every time you turn around it's another brand pushing Fall ... everything is pumpkin from the pumpkin spice lattes to the pumpkin ice cream to the pumpkin filling display at the grocery store.  Everything is apples from apple pie to apple cider to apple chewing gum.  And everything is Halloween costumes (and candy) ... from nurse outfits to Batman to ghosts.  Plus let's not forget the fashion advertising from sweaters to jeans to scarfs to desert boots.  Love all the layers.

It's true ... Fall is a buffet of traditions based on the seasonal varieties with a load of marketing that comes along with it.  Now the question is how much of it is Fall driving the marketing activity or is it the marketing driving the Fall behaviors?  Probably a little bit of both.   I encourage you to stop (and smell the harvest) to observe your own behavior and how much of it is marketing-driven, of the seasonal variety.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU


  1. Vinicius B. FerreiraOctober 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    I need to say that I really enjoyed the tastes from Fall in Starbucks. For example, I can describe my last week experience in Starbucks when I chose a pumpkin bread between a lot of other options from Fall tastes and a caramel 'something' macchiato coffee and it was amazing because I always think in come back and try another one.

  2. Kalina Graczyk - In the recent year I noticed that marketing is driving my purchase behavior when it comes to the change of the seasons, during fall I crave pumpkin ale while during the summer I want a Corona. One can argue that it’s because pumpkin beer is too heavy on a summer day but I beg to differ.

  3. Emma Tupay- I am a lover of fall flavors and activities, but I do find myself over the last few years starting to want them earlier and earlier. The second I see the first pumpkin spice latte advertisement my immediate reaction is "FALL IS HERE!" and begin to think of apple picking and all my favorite fall foods. My craving of these things use to hit around the begging of October, when I could really feel the changing of the seasons. Now it seems to be the start of September when I start seeing ad campaigns come out. (and still technically summer)

  4. From a business standpoint Fall meant a makeover of our companies marketing and products. We took out a cherry flavor and put out a cinnamon flavor (which is delicious by the way!) to appeal to what consumers want in the fall. We also did a remodeling of our website and social media pages to a fall theme. Using warmer, autumn colors and images of our product with Apples and other fall harvest foods. In the fall people start to crave certain flavors, when they see a pumpkin recipe on our blog they will be more likely to try our product than if we were to post a key lime recipe.

  5. It's amazing to see all the fall rituals that come out as a result of good marketing. Jim.

  6. It sure seems that fall is the breakpoint to every major industry out there. From fashion to coffee, we see how exploited fall is for every major advertising campaings. I believe we all enjoy the pumpkin spiced lattes and apple ciders, which me start craving since mid august. Eventually, everyone gets overwhelmned by the effect fall- and its products- have on us.

    This year I realized something I hadn't been aware of before. Pharmaceuticals. The thing that caught my attention the most about this topic was how now even pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of the season to display their productos for this change of weather and everyday life. As a marketer, it is clear that we have to take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to us to distract and catch the eye of our consumer. Save to say, in my mind, fall has been awarded the ultimate selling time of the year! - Lorena Coker

  7. Jasmine Galeotti-Is my first time in New York during the fall. I am impressed with Halloween marketing. In every place that you go in, there is something that reminds you that Halloween is coming. Every time I go to the grocery, I found my self having different reactions to all that pumpkins.
    In terms of fashion advertising, the other day I saw an ad for Target that was very visual and summarized very well the concept of Fall, adding layers of clothing. For me is just perfect. Is my experience with brands. In some of them I buy a shirt, in an other a sweeter and I continue until I fell that I may ready to receive Winter.

  8. Had my first apple cider yesterday and broke out all of my vests ... love the fall. Jim.