Thanksgiving Marketing Statistics You'll Gobble About

How in the world did Thanksgiving come upon us so quickly?!?

Where did November go?

Where did Fall go?

What happened to 2019?

Unfortunately, these are all important questions of time and space which transcend my powers.

What I can do is provide you with some fun-filled Thanksgiving marketing facts to help pass your time with friends and family while celebrating this upcoming holiday weekend.

How to Use These Thanksgiving Marketing Facts

Impress your friends and family by rattling off some of the facts below, like a true communications pro.

These savory info bits can be used to support your holiday goals in one or more of the following ways:

  • Distract Uncle Bernie from his five millionth telling of the story about his fire hydrant mishap with some quality holiday consumer buying know-how.
  • Keep Grandma Martha from launching into another dreaded “D” discussion (dentures, Depends, doctors) and keep the family’s attention captive through tales of Thanksgiving parade branding.
  • Steal the last piece of pie as you distract cousin Fred with astounding holiday retail shopping feats.
  • And most importantly, get the entire family out of the house on Black Friday by telling them you require their participation in a “Black Friday” case study for work.

Oh yes, my friends, all of this and more can be yours when you take the knowledge I’m about to share in this post and put it to good use.

Thanksgiving Marketing Turkey Talk

Before we start, let’s hear a cheer for our host of the day—the turkey.

Did you know individual turkeys have unique voices?

This allows them to distinguish one another.

So a turkey conversation would go something like this:

Lucy: “Gobble?”

Carl: “Gobble, gobble.”

Linda: “Gobble …”

Which, in case you don’t speak turkey, roughly translates into:

Lucy: “Hello, are you all home?”

Carl: “Lucy, so great of you to stop by. How are the kids?”

Linda: “Oh Lucy, you sound more and more like your mother every day.”

Why does this matter or having anything to do with Thanksgiving marketing?

Duh … follow my feather trail here people!

Just like a turkey, your brand must have its own distinct brand voice.

A voice that speaks to who you are and allows consumers to not just recognize you in a crowded field, but to connect with you.

Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Gobble About

Let’s be real, Thanksgiving is the BEST and the WORST time of the year to be a turkey.

You are the star of the show (70% of Americans say it’s not Thanksgiving without turkey).

But you are also a martyr for a cause you may or may not believe in (46 million turkeys are killed each year, RIP).

But if you are a turkey seller, it’s go time.

Over 552 million dollars are spent on Thanksgiving turkeys each year.

Butterball answers over 100K+ questions on their turkey hotline each November and December.

And let’s talk about that for a moment.

It’s a genius communications tactic and part of the reason Butterball remains one of the leading and most recognizable names in turkey.

Want to clearly define yourself as the leading name in turkey?

Create a hotline of turkey experts to answer questions.

Turkey thought leadership, anyone?

And in order to keep up with the “modern chef”, today you can connect with the hotline through social media, live chat, texting, and Amazon Alexa.

Turkey Talk: Grocery Store Style

The humble turkey is also part of a unique Thanksgiving marketing tactic, which deserves mention.

While normally high demand goods (items such as flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day, jelly beans on Easter, candy on Halloween) cost the most in the month of their peak demand, turkeys are the cheapest during November. 

This is a very strategic move on the part of grocers to use turkey as a loss leader, simply to get people into the store to buy other higher priced Thanksgiving products.

Consumers have come to expect cheap turkeys so they use the cost as part of their comparison for which store to go to for their other holiday items. 

The Truth About Black Friday

Obviously no discussion of Thanksgiving marketing would be complete without talk of Black Friday.

Next week, I’ll dig into the details of Black Friday and Cyber Week as a whole (along with a list of Cyber Monday deals for communicators).

But before we get into the details, do you know why Black Friday is called…”Black Friday?”

It got its name in the 1960s by the Philly Police Department.

They coined the term because of all the traffic jams, crowding, and often violence that resulted from the retail frenzy.

My absolute favorite Black Friday fact comes from a RetailMeNot survey (as reported in Time).

The survey found 12% of Thanksgiving shoppers admit to shopping drunk.

This explains a lot, right?

And frankly, I’m pretty sure if I was going to face the Black Friday crowds, I’d need to be drunk as well. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Spin Sucks does not endorse or approve of drunk shopping. Please drink and shop responsibly.

While Black Friday used to be the launch of the holiday shopping season, that’s no longer the case.

The lastest National Retail Federation survey shows that 56% of shoppers started shopping at the beginning of November.

But early shopping isn’t stopping us from spending money this upcoming holiday weekend.

They also reported that 165 million say they’ll shop over the holiday weekend.

It’s Not All About The Deals

Consumer motivation is always of interest to me, so I found this breakdown of why people shop over the Thanksgiving weekend of particular interest.

It’s not all about the deals.

Many of us shop due to tradition and the ability to spend time with friends and family.

(Per our previous stat: being drunk while spending time with friends and family might also help.)

Reasons why people shop on Thanksgiving weekend:

  • The deals are too good to pass up (65%)
  • Tradition (28%)
  • It’s when they like to start their holiday shopping (22%)
  • Something to do over the holidays (21%)
  • A group activity with friends/family (17%)

And with that, Happy Thanksgiving from our little Spin Sucks family to yours!

We are so grateful for all of you.

Laura Petrolino

Laura Petrolino is chief marketing officer for Spin Sucks, an integrated marketing communications firm that provides strategic counsel and professional development for in-house and agency communications teams. She is a weekly contributor for their award-winning blog of the same name. Spin Sucks. Join the Spin Sucks   community.

View all posts by Laura Petrolino