It’s November and officially the lead up to Christmas has begun! Looking at Google searches and doing a quick search ourselves for ‘Christmas gifts’, the brand currently in top place is ‘Virgin Experience Days’, then ‘Anthrapologie’, followed by ‘IWOOT’.
As expected, when looking at Google trends the interest in searching for Christmas gifts starts to increase around the end of October. But what’s the sweet spot between October and December for advertisers to start running their marketing campaigns without wasting money before consumers are thinking about Christmas in any serious way?
According to Google trends the time period when searches for ‘Christmas gifts’ reach their pinnacle is between the 4th-10th December, so ideally brands should be advertising mid to the end of November in preparation for this time period.
However, this entirely depends on your brand message and product, some brands advertise just after Christmas in anticipation for next Christmas, as the season is on people’s minds. ‘Park’ is an example of this, with what seems like many, many adverts in January and immediately after Christmas. Park is aimed at families with young children and teenagers and parents who can’t afford to buy the gifts they would like all at once. Indeed, a google search for ‘save up for Christmas’ brings one of their PPC ads up as the top result.
Park offers a service in which customers decide what they need to save and then set up a DD with Park which takes that amount out their paycheck each month. When Christmas rolls around they have a pot of money waiting to spend for Christmas. However, they can only spend this with Park approved retailers, which is how the company make their money.
Their strategy of releasing their main bulk of advertising in January and just before Christmas makes good sense it means they avoid clashing advertising spend with very large advertisers such as John Lewis and designer perfume brands. By advertising in January they also capitalise on people’s disappointment at perhaps not being able to afford their ‘ideal Christmas’, parents feeling drained of cash and the January come down.
In 2016 UK advertisers spent a record £5.6 billion in the run up to Christmas, with bumper budgets for Google and Facebook compared to more traditional print and T.V advertising. So what campaigns can we expect to see this year?
Some brands including Vodaphone have already released their adverts. The Vodaphone Christmas advert went live on the 1st November and shows the first part of their ‘festive romance’ series, featuring Martin Freeman and focuses on advertising their Vodaphone data passes.
Cineworld have also released their Christmas advert, showing their new mascot ‘Gus’ a chipmunk like cartoon character who promotes their Cineworld Pass as a Christmas gift.
Having a series of adverts starting early as Vodaphone has done, effectively builds up the anticipation to the stories ‘end’ whilst absorbing the subliminal messaging of Vodaphone as ‘feel good’ and also, as mainly, (according to their adverts) having some good data plans.
The Cineworld advert doesn’t have this story like format and unless ‘Gus’ has some adventures under his sleeve to go on other adventures (one would assume he does), then this particular advert could get tiring very soon seeing as it’s only November.
We can only wait and see what the other big brands have in store and of course everyone will be waiting for the John Lewis advert. Read our review and watch out for our next review once it’s out!