Monkey See: Monkey Don’t 1

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.

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