Brands will soon be battling it out for the Christmas top spot. Over the past decade Christmas ads have become an anticipated part of the festive season; brands such as John Lewis, Coca-Cola, M&S and Aldi tuning into the hearts & minds of the consumer and providing a good feel factor in the run up to the big day.
However, there is a distinct shift in consumer mood towards Christmas this year due to the cost of living crisis. Kantar data reveals shoppers plan to spend £25 less of gifts per person, consumer excitement for festive ads is only 15% (down 5% points from last year) and a staggering 47% say they’re worried about Christmas. Whilst Ipsos data shows seven in ten adults anticipate the general economic condition of the country will get worse over the next year, and only 15% believe it will improve.
Advertising should always be carefully considered (not just at Christmas!), but in such turbulent times the importance of getting the strategy and message right is stronger than ever. Although global brands will have included consumer research in the creative process, other factors such as overall spend to produce a one off Christmas campaign may also be scrutinised if the message does not resonate with a brand’s current consumer sentiment.
Brands certainly have a challenge on their hands this Christmas and their advertising budget will need to work hard. The squeeze on household budgets should not be overlooked, and brands need to be sympathetic to the worries and concerns families face this Christmas. Understanding attitudes, behaviours, motivations, barriers and painpoints generate fundamental consumer insights that will help shape advertising content. Sentiment & content testing are key elements to optimising ROI and testing the connection with customer segments.
Companies that truly understand the consumer mood this year are likely to be in the running for the best Christmas ad 2022.