Working in retail design means we have a nerdy eye on seasonal language trends.
Our latest point of interest is the gradual creep of ‘Fall’, in place of Autumn, into copy targeted at British consumers. An American import, Fall is hot on the heels of ‘Fright Night’ (Halloween).
So what’s behind Fall’s popularity over here?
- It’s shorter than ‘Autumn’ (designers like short copy).
- It has a flexible double meaning, which is handy when, as a copywriter, you’re tasked with writing a snappy headline.
In fact, the headline to this piece could equally have been any one of the following:
- ‘How Brits are falling for a new kind of Autumn.’
- ‘Has Autumn fallen from grace?’
- ‘Why Brits are falling over themselves for America’s brand of Autumn.’
- ‘Has Autumn fallen out of favour with Brits?’
It evokes – very literally – leaves falling off trees, which pretty much defines Autumn and conjures up a feeling of hygge (to borrow from Danish).
In a similar way, Thanksgiving has been making an appearance in the UK, in terms of recipes etc. Its impact and reach, will, however, be inherently limited as we don’t have an equivalent to rebrand: unlike America, we have nothing to give thanks for.
So what’s next? Perhaps ‘Happy Holidays’ will replace ‘Merry Christmas’? It certainly has a few things in its favour:
- It has no religious connotations, making it accessible and inclusive.
- Alliteration is always nice to have.
- ‘Holidays’ specifically reminds us of down time (and its associated positive cues), rather than just a seasonal event (‘Christmas’).
You heard it here first.