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Why Do We Love a Good Deal? The Black Friday Phenomenon in Consumer Culture

Black Friday and similar shopping extravaganzas like Cyber Monday don't just provide consumers with tangible products and discounts; they offer an experience. Participation in Black Friday brings forth a sense of excitement, anticipation, and consumer empowerment. It signifies the chance to capitalize on discounts as a savvy shopper, aligning with the cultural narrative of the 'smart consumer.'

Christmas, originally a religious celebration marking the birth of Jesus, has transformed into a consumer-driven event in capitalist societies, rooted in a complex historical and cultural evolution. Initially characterized by spiritual contemplation and altruistic giving, the celebration has undergone a significant shift. The rise of consumer culture in the 19th century, the influence of commercial interests and the evolution of modern marketing techniques have all contributed to the commercialization of Christmas. The act of gift-giving has become inseparable from the purchase of consumer goods, reinforced through advertising and cultural narratives. Consider advertisements that explicitly urge consumers to 'buy something for your loved ones,' completing the holiday experience through this ritual.

In the Friday Morning podcast, Barbara Kántor, cultural anthropologist, marketing researcher and research director at Catapult Innovation Lab delved into the ritual of shopping and year-end savings.