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An Obscure Holiday Advertising Element
By: Tom Roarty
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The stresses of the holidays affect everyone from merchants to consumers.
What to get, and where to get it, has become a part of the process for most of us, and what was once a spiritual time of year is now a commerce-driven event. It is a time when advertisers tell you about the product you need to have in some of the most creative presentations ever. However, there are ways businesses are luring in consumers without the help of any traditional or digital campaigns.
Across the street from the southwestern corner of Central Park in New York City is the Time Warner Center, is an upscale mall home to such high-end luxury shops as A|X Armani Exchange, Coach, and Bose, to name a few. In the actual park itself, in the shadow of this architectural masterpiece, is a group of tents known as the "Columbus Circle Holiday Market."
Although the Time Warner Center is elegantly decorated for the season, complete with a music-and-light show installed at the front entrance, there is something far more personal about the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. Granted, there are no floor-to-ceiling advertisements clinging to oversized windows or model-esque employees catering to the whims of those who can afford to frequent those shops, but what the market lacks in high-scale appearance, it more than makes up for in spirit.
From an advertising perspective, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market can offer an appearance reminiscent of a traditional shopping experience, and what better way to attract potential customers during that time of year driven by tradition? From afar, the market looks like a site from the early 1900s, comprised of red-and-white striped tents arranged in the shape of a maze. Upon reaching the small tent city, you will have to navigate dimly lit, narrow walkways, but you will, in return, be surrounded by a wide variety of personal and unique gift ideas.
In essence, what makes the format of the Holiday Market work is its ability to be its own advertisement. The layout, colors, and location of the experience portray the message of holiday shopping without having to force people to read the words. Can you get the same items being offered across the street, which has products promoted by some of the world's greatest agencies? Not at all, but the tents have their place and their own demographic, which is focused on people who do not want to purchase products for their friends and family that can be found in any upscale mall across the country.
For me personally, I love advertising, especially the creative aspect of it. There are certain times of the year that ignite a visual revolution in the world of retail; the holidays are one of them. Although I, too, am attracted to the images, copy, and ideas presented in spectacular fashion.
Seeing how other creatives crafted the message of their clients through a variety of media is as appealing to me as seeing work presented in a gallery or a museum. However, the simplicity of a message, no matter what form it takes, will always produce desirable results. Happy holiday shopping!

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