As the days inch towards Christmas people around the nation will be frantically finishing up their shopping and wrapping gifts. I’m not a big fan of wrapping gifts. For one, it is an extra step before hoisting the gift off to it’s recipient. All the work and energy, physical as well as creative, that goes into the presentation is quickly shredded to a pulp as it is ripped off and tossed aside for the main attraction below the surface. That precious wrapping paper, tape, and pretty bow will make their way to the trash where they will rot away in a landfill.
But my biggest gripe is the price for all of that frilly paper, which only provides only a moment of glee. And while I would like to see the 2007 Christmas season be the one that ditches the idea of wrapping up gifts (after all, being green is in vogue) there is a snowflake’s chance in hell that is going to happen. Companies that make wrapping paper and related products must be raking it in as the busiest shopping season heads into full insane-o-mode. I couldn’t find any statistics about wrapping paper revenue, but I am sure that it is such a large chunk of company profits that the last thing they would want to do is stop the frivolous holiday tradition.
How could I get out of wrapping gifts without disappointing my family and friends while not spending a dime? Why not turn to the one thing that has helped give consumers the things they want without charging them a thing, advertising-supported goods! I would gladly accept gift-wrapping materials that have been plastered in logos if it were free and saved me time. It seems to make sense in helping companies spread brand awareness as the giftee would be exposed with a happy and joyous moment of opening a gift which creates a positive psychological effect and brand association. Companies could ship it to people for free or give it out at stores with every purchase. Boxes already pre-wrapped and decorated using a Christmas variation of the corporate colors and branded tissue paper inside would be the perfect ad vehicle to their next potential customer. And with the cost of buying everything in bulk, the company wouldn’t be spending more than the usual barrage of printed material such as full-page magazine ads, billboards, or direct mailing fliers. Wrapping paper would be unusual in the fact that it is actually useful! That’s a valuable exchange in my book.
I’m surprised I haven’t seen this idea more widespread. Lots of stores offer gift wrapping though it is usually offered as an extra service for a price. Why not offset that cost with advertising? Everything else seems to work that way. And it’s not like Christmas isn’t already over-marketed, over-hyped, and over-crowded with the consumerism mentality of BUY, BUY, BUY! Why not just a little bit more with free wrapping paper?