Just what we need: a crazier Black Friday

Eight O’Clock Coffee has figured out a way to boost its brand recognition: Give away some product for free. The company’s doing it on Friday, Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, at nine U.S. malls before dawn. (I guess that’s the nation’s No. 1 shopping day. Since I’m a Scrooge when it comes to buying presents, I wouldn’t know.) “It’s just plain wrong to be up so early without a cup of hot, delicious Eight O’Clock Coffee,” coos brand manager Alisa Jacoby (who’s probably tossing darts at Tim Ellis’s photo now that he’s quashed her chances of moving to VW and giving away free Touregs). With the prospect of thousands of caffeine-crazed shoppers straining against the doors to get at the iPhones and Xboxes, I’d recommend skipping work the day after Thanksgiving if you’re employed at the Swansea Mall. Just tell your bosses you got sick from drinking too much coffee. And remember to use those 20 percent discounts well in advance.

—Posted by David Gianatasio