Google CPG blog - News and Notes from Google"s CPG Vertical

Is Labor Day the real New Year's Day?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The San Francisco Chronicle noted on Sept. 2, "This is the Labor Day weekend, the traditional end of summer, a date as important as New Year's Eve. It's the beginning of one part of people's lives and the end of another, the end of vacation and the start of serious work.

This line of thinking may be what led "The Today Show" to raise an interesting question: Is Labor Day the real New Year's Day? We don't know about you, but our world tends to change far more on the day after Labor Day than it does on January 2.

For example, consider these post-Labor Day changes:

  • Schedules and routines: Kids are back in school; commuting times go up
  • Eating and shopping: Back to school clothes shopping, groceries for more school lunches, and soon, holiday gifts; even your local drugstore already has a full Halloween aisle
  • Time allocation: Less leisure time, more time for school and work activities
  • Media consumption: Fall TV show debuts, football season underway in earnest, web usage upTravel: Less time at summer homes and vacation spots; more time at home
  • Fitness: Exercise programs; health clubs see membership spikes
  • Home Projects: Consumers resolve to repair, remodel and redecorate
  • Weather: Summer heat and storms give way to cooler temperatures, shorter days and earlier sunsets
Labor Day is a big landmark for CPG marketers because you are most likely waiting to see how your new launches performed during Back-to-School, and anticipating Super Bowl and Holiday periods. In a few short months, you'll be in Brand Review mode, making sense of Sales per Point of Distribution and Household Penetration. And then -- with barely enough time to glean insights from 2007 learnings, you'll be developing brand plans for 2008. Traditionally, brand plans are crafted about a year in advance, and media buys are executed way ahead of time too - the process doesn't really lend any flexibility to brands or marketers, or permit last-minute changes.

What we like to point out, of course, is that whether your buys are online, in TV or audio, Google is a flexible partner. We can execute on your plans within a 48-72 hour time frame, and the messaging can be very current, reflecting precisely what's going on with consumers and the industry at the moment. To give your CPG brands a little room to breathe, we encourage all of you to consider setting aside a little Google Flex account in 2008 to accommodate any last minute brand initiatives. Contact your account manager or account executive for more details.