Note to retailers and bumper sticker copywiters alike: Don’t confuse imitation with
marketing. In other words, Got Milk?does not translate well to Got Ammo?
Along those same lines, the imitation principle invoked when Black Friday was coined
on the heels of Good Friday, is probably dumb enough to be abandoned right there.
Further imitation might lead to Lenten travesties like Cash Wednesday — pay cash for
your first purchase of the day and get a dime-sized stamp on your forehead that tells
every other retailer you shop with that you‘re entitled to a 20 percent off on subsequent
Or Feaster Sunday: Buy a bargain priced entrée on any Sabbath and get a second one
free! Restaurateurs could issue weekday rain checks to console consumers who missed
out and call it The Last Chance Supper.
With marketing calendar creep, the pagan priests of retail might lay copycat offerings at
the altar of greed even earlier, say right after pulling Thanksgiving goods in October to
make room for SPF 30 and pool noodles. But the best time to roll out a bad idea is never.
If your marketing bag of tricks is down to imitation, you’re probably better off simply
saying nothing at all.