Meanwhile, Jacobs cast "Gummo" director Harmony Korine for his signature men's wear campaign. — Miles Socha
SHOP TILL YOU DROP — OR JUST READ ABOUT IT: Black Friday was experienced by shoppers and couch potatoes alike, thanks to the media. The phrase, formerly used only in the retail community, has become an easy top story for the day after Thanksgiving, but many retail executives told WWD that the day now gets more media hype than is warranted.
And do consumers really want to read about, well, shopping? "I want an iPhone, too, but do I want to read a story about that? Not really," said New York Times media columnist David Carr. "I don't think we should pretend consumers need this." He went on to say that, for a media organization, Black Friday provides some stability to schedule a story a year in advance. "But I think readers are a little left out of the conversation," he added. And what really advances the story from year to year, he wondered? The fact that Best Buy opened an hour earlier?
Not that Carr's own paper didn't join in the crush. The Times ran a cover story Saturday, "Bargains Draw Crowds, but the Thrill Is Gone," while over at the New York Post, a "Black Friday Survival Guide" was teased on the front page of Nov. 21's issue, followed by a hot list of holiday gifts in the Nov. 23 paper. Meanwhile, at the Wall Street Journal, a spokesman said there was no mention of Black Friday or holiday spending in any stories in the Nov. 23 paper, but its blogs were filled with information.
Not that major city dailies were the only ones to blame for the frenzy. Local papers and newscasts also covered the day ad nauseam, complete with bargain-crazed shoppers stampeding aisles in the wee hours of the morning.
The national network morning shows were all over Black Friday, too, treating it breathlessly as a major world event. "Good Morning America" anchor and correspondent Dan Harris said there was a huge push this year, led by Diane Sawyer, to cover it differently. For instance, one story looked at the movie, "What Would Jesus Buy?" However, Harris acknowledged that all the coverage "might just be a media reflex. People care about what item is hot, where the discounts are, but less about the shopping season as a whole," he said.