Before August had come and gone some retailers were already throwing up their Christmas decorations in order to steal a march on their rivals. Whilst this always fosters a bit of hostility, we’ve only got ourselves to blame.
Retailers are acting based on the knowledge that one third of us start our Christmas shopping in September.
Slightly more tolerable are the Christmas adverts that follow slightly closer to the traditional festive period of November and December. There’s always a lot of interest surrounding Coca Cola’s next offering or what the creatives at John Lewis will conjure up.
But other than being a festive intrigue, the brands that compete around Christmas do so in the knowledge that the advert is crucial to their festive performance.
With 65% of shoppers admitting that Christmas TV adverts are effective, it’s little wonder the major retailers put so much effort into them. At 65%, television represents the most effective form of Christmas advertising.
Last year, we saw Sainsbury’s air a reflective advert that commemorated the servicemen of the First World War, John Lewis launch Monty the Penguin and M&S their Christmas Magic and Sparkle campaign.
Most major retailers launched their own adverts to compete for the lucrative Christmas rush, but whilst this is no great revelation, the impact of such adverts is.
Aside from flogging Antarctic-worthy numbers of £95 Penguins (toy penguins that is), John Lewis enjoyed £96 million in sales on the first week of Christmas trading, a 5% increase on the previous year.
This was no mean feat. In 2013 John Lewis aired their incredibly popular Hare and the Bear advert. A week after it aired, the company’s takings were up 10.7% on the same period the previous year.
Such a close correlation between the adverts release and positive sales increases each year aren’t coincidences, it’s just yet more proof that television adverts continue to work with startling efficiency.
Another learning point, is how television adverts easily transcend into the digital sphere. Having created their adverts, brands did not utilise a separate digital campaign, they based their virtual strategy around their television advert.
Taking the crucial retail period from November 4th- December 9th (2013), TV advertisements took social media conversations by storm.
On YouTube, John Lewis gained over 10.3 million views of the advert with Sainsbury’s also gaining over a million views of its TV advert and short film and over 43,000 new Facebook fans.
Not only do people enjoy Christmas adverts, they are also highly successful at achieving increased sales and positive brand exposure.
Whilst John Lewis spent 7 million on the marketing and creation of their 2013 and 2014 videos, there is also an opportunity for smaller brands to benefit from the platform Christmas brings. To be successful you don’t have to have a prime time television spot, you can create digital only campaigns which can be highly effective too.