I wrote the following after reading my local small-town newspaper and the Wall Street Journal on December 5th, twenty days before Christmas.
I read both regularly and understand they are two different types of periodicals as to the typical information published and the target audiences. I get it.
Today both contained a good number of Christmas ads, as I would expect. I’m okay with that. I get it.
The WSJ had one article concerning the Christmas Holiday. It was about the most popular color of the hot items in stores, the family of hues from pink to orchid.
The local paper had many articles about Christmas ranging from food, photos of decorations at homes and businesses, and several with information about local charities and support groups.
Again, I agree these two publications are at opposite ends of the news spectrum, I am simply pointing out some interesting differences.
Which one would you expect to have a large article about homemade cookies?
Wrong, the WSJ. A company sells hand decorated cookies. The popular box of 23 cookies (not 2 dozen) of which one cookie is over 4 inches, and most are less than 2 inches in size sells for $95.00. If you don’t buy them at Sak’s shipping is $17.25 more.
The WSJ also had ads for things like a pair of sandals for $950 having the top strap made to look like a fish skeleton. The first three pages had 8 large ads for watches, nice men’s watches. I looked up the price of two of them. An Oris was $3,500 and a Bucherer was $44,000. I stopped looking up the price of watches, and my $14 three year old watch showed I had an appointment soon.
Of course the WSJ was not full of flyers from Walmart and Office Max. I remember one insert the other day though, offering a good deal on a latest jet plane model. I get it. I’d want a Bucherer if I had a jet.
In the WSJ there was a full-page ad from a big oil company saying they care about the community. I’m guessing the woman and child in the ad were models, not members of the community.
In contrast the little paper had articles, complete with names and addresses, of local charities and events. A local business collects used cell phones which are given to a company that refurbishes them for resale. In turn that company donates (for each phone) two and a half hours of free phone service to soldiers.
A caregiver group had already installed 700 medical alert devices to elderly persons who live alone. They had 50 more and were seeking a few volunteers to install and maintain the devices.
Another group put out a call for donations of items like sleeping bags and warm socks, or cash, for homeless individuals they shelter temporarily and help in finding jobs and housing.
A Parkinson’s disease support group was having their regular meeting and inviting others to come, suggesting all wear something like a Christmas sweater or a Santa hat.
Notices told of caroling, a concert, and when Santa would arrive in town to meet little children.
Nothing like that in the big paper. It did have an article on Super Bowl TV ads. Some will cost 4 million dollars for a 30 second spot. I don’t get that.
I think those on my list will get the usual jar of jam or trinket. And a couple of local charities will get a little something, not a nice Swiss watch or a $4.88 cookie, but a little help in providing food or warmth.
A local needy person will most likely not see those award-winning Super Bowl ads. He’s not in the target audience of big newspapers and corporations. I get it.
But, I don’t get it.
Happy and Merry Christmas Holiday to y’all.