Consumers love holiday ads, as much as they come too early

The forecasts are more optimistic, but that will not imply a higher cost

The first days of November, the first days in which brands can already unleash the Christmas fever without much regret. Halloween, which has become an engine of leisure consumption at the start of autumn, is finished and brands can remove the pumpkins and ghosts and bet on the avalanche of Christmas issues. It’s time to bring out all the lights, the snowmen, and the tinsel. It is time to step on the accelerator of the Christmas campaign.

Of course, this implies decoration at points of sale, new elements in packaging or new brand messages, but also the launch of advertising campaigns in a big way. Although in some markets Christmas ads have been running for a few weeks now, in others purely Christmas campaigns will now begin to appear on televisions, online media and other advertising channels.

But what do consumers expect from Christmas ads and, above all, how do they see them? The perceptions of the Christmas campaigns mark, a priori, how one reacts to these messages and what are the ideas linked to them. That is, they make us see them with better or worse eyes beyond what the ad itself could achieve.

A study by Kantar, which starts from the British market (the market par excellence when it comes to Christmas advertisements and which sets the tone for others), points out that the reality of Christmas advertising is complex. Consumers generally love these campaigns, but they also see them as somewhat geeky, which can act as a drag on brand actions.

A lot of love, a lot of nerdiness
Thus, 51% of the consumers surveyed proclaim their love for Christmas advertisements. However, despite this enthusiasm, 42% of those surveyed also point out that campaigns can turn out to be tacky. That is, they can be too nasty.

This is the average percentage considering all demographic groups, but there are some that are above this average. This is what happens with those over 65 years of age (51% say so) and if the average of what happens with male consumers is added (almost half).

Likewise, consumers already show a bit of temporary saturation in the face of Christmas campaigns. 63% of respondents say that Christmas ads start too early. Interestingly, 37% of consumers have already started their Christmas shopping this year.

Christmas forecasts
Christmas 2020 was special. It was the first Christmas of the coronavirus and in many markets mobility and assembly restrictions were applied. This led to many people not being able to travel or being able to reunite with their families, which made the holidays somewhat different.

What will this year be like? The high vaccination rate in many countries, such as Spain, invites us to think about festivals more similar to those of pre-pandemic life.

The British study indicates that consumers see this Christmas with special eyes. This year consumers are twice as likely to believe that this Christmas is more important than the last. Of course, this does not necessarily imply more expense. Only 16% of those surveyed believe that this year they will spend more money, compared to 51% who will stay in the same spending patterns as last year.

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