Why is Christmas advertising so important?

As we enter the Christmas period, all big retailers and brands are beginning to launch their festive campaigns.

Every year, big brands and retailers are keen to maximise their marketing spend, investing huge sums of money into their Christmas advertising campaigns. It has somewhat become a competition to see who will make the most popular Christmas advert. Resultantly, UK advertisers are set to spend a record of £5.6 billion this year in the run up to Christmas, which is £300m more than what was spent for Christmas 2015.

But why are these brands so willing to invest so much money into these adverts?

Christmas provides an opportunity for lots of business and the effects of a Christmas adverts success go way beyond the seven week run up to Christmas. The success of a Christmas marketing campaign can have both short-term and long-term effects in terms of showing an increase in sales and profits. The more popularity and buzz generated by an advert, the longer the impact it has on the brand. For example, John Lewis estimates that since 2012, its sales have increased by more than 35% thanks to the success of their Christmas advertising.

Additionally, research has shown that Sainsbury’s managed to generate a profit of £24 for every £1 spent on their Christmas ad campaign in 2014. As well as this, last year, Sainsbury’s was the winner of the Christmas TV adverts battle with its ‘Mog the Cat’ campaign. Based on YouTube views to December 21st 2015, the campaign was seen nearly 26 million times ahead of John Lewis’s Man on the Moon which got nearly 23 million views.

Whilst these big retailers and brands will be seeing an increase in their own sales and profits following their Christmas advertising campaigns, many are also raising funds and awareness for various different charities. This is not only important because they raise money for the charity, but also because of the awareness they bring to the charities. For example, last year following the release of the John Lewis Christmas ad that focused on the issue of loneliness, Age UK reported a huge increase in inquiries about volunteering.

Here are some of the charities being supported this year:

  • John Lewis: Wildlife Trust
  • Waitrose: Crisis
  • Sainsbury’s: Great Ormond Street
  • Aldi: Barnardo’s

Here are a few examples of big retailers Christmas ad campaigns:

Burberry: “The Tale of Thomas Burberry”

Burberry’s advert, titled ‘The Tale of Thomas Burberry’ is formatted in much the same way as a film trailer, and follows the story of the brand’s 160-year history. Through this, Burberry demonstrates the importance the power of story-telling within a business. This advert, unsurprisingly, cost a whopping £10 million.

nintchdbpict000281569887Sainsbury’s: “The Greatest Gift”

This heart-warming, stop motion animation maintains the company’s ‘Christmas is for Sharing’, which has been a constant theme in the Sainsbury’s Christmas adverts over the past three years and it continues to have a real resonance for customers. This advert uses its relatability to draw in the attention of its audience.

Waitrose: “Coming Home”

Taking inspiration from sister brand John Lewis’s Christmas ad campaigns, the Waitrose Christmas ad tugs your heart-strings, following the story of a robin’s journey home. Using ‘coming home for Christmas’ as the ads central theme it highlights the importance of togetherness and spending time with friends and family in the festive season, consequently using the emotional factor to generate interest.