Gifts: Substance over show this Christmas

Dec. 5, 2011 at 1:26 AM

STEVENS, Pa., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Occupy Wall Street has affected the political dialogue on finance and it could affect what people buy as gifts this year, a U.S. marketing expert says.

Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of "Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury," said this Christmas will be one for substance over show.

"Occupy Wall Street has discouraged the affluent and the aspirational alike from wanting to indulge in conspicuous consumption," Danzinger said in a statement. "If you are in the 1 percent, you want to go undercover, avoiding extravagant 'bling.' If you are not, you want to avoid the appearance of identifying with this much-maligned group of ultra-affluents."

If 'bling' is off the table for gifting, what will consumers be buying this Christmas season? Danziger predicted a continuing interest in the practical.

"Affluents are looking to give gifts of things people really need," Danziger said.

"Technology fits beautifully in this framework, with great prices and functionality people need in their lives. Experiences, too, have become an attractive gift solution this year, thanks to the many attractive deal-of-the-day offers from Groupon, Living Social and others. These experiences save the gift giver lots of money, all the while maximizing the gift recipient's pleasure."

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