The Popularity of Christmas Adverts


Christmas may be one of the most commercialised times of the year, but that doesn't mean we don't love it. From food and drink to clothes and presents, Christmas is a time for family and friends to enjoy spending time together. However, there's another part of Christmas that many people look forward to: Christmas adverts! With every year that passes, it seems that the British public is growing more and more fond of Christmas adverts.

But why are we spending more and more time watching Christmas adverts? Well, quite simply, because we enjoy them! We like seeing our favourite brands get involved, and we like seeing an insight into what they get up to behind the scenes. Whether it's a glimpse into their products or the hard work that goes into producing them, we love watching adverts for products we use and appreciate all year round.

Christmas adverts also serve as a reminder of why we enjoy the festive season so much. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's easy to miss what Christmas is all about: family, friends and festive cheer. The adverts give us a reminder of why we love this time of year and make us feel all warm and fluffy inside!

With that in mind, we analysed Christmas ads over the last 2 decades to show you just how much time, money and effort brands are putting into their Christmas ads and just how successful they were, just in time for the 2021 ad releases.

Will any of this year’s exceed previous ones?

Christmas time is a very busy and exciting period for many brands and businesses around the world, especially those who have an established presence in Western Europe.

A huge number of companies will put out their big Christmas advert every year with the hope that it will be as anticipated as John Lewis' famous efforts.

In recent years, some campaigns have been so complicated and expensive that they have been unable to recover their costs. This has caused a number of industries to rethink the way in which they run their Christmas ads, but why do people spend so much money on a campaign?

Companies spend millions of pounds on their Christmas adverts every year, only to make a loss on the campaign. Businesses such as John Lewis, Coca Cola and Asda do not charge for advert space in their stores and online, but instead, fund these campaigns themselves.

One factor is the extensive planning that goes into these adverts. As John Lewis puts out its annual effort just before Black Friday, it needs to have months of lead time ahead of the campaign's release date.

Other factors include the extensive media coverage that these adverts receive and the increased sales that they bring in just before Christmas.

Christmas is a time for family, festivities and spending time with people you love – but it's also a time when many of us sit down in front of our laptop screens to catch up on the latest Christmas adverts.

Christmas adverts have been a tradition since the 1960s, when John Lewis aired its first festive commercial in the UK. Since then, other retailers have jumped on the bandwagon and started releasing their own versions of 'Santa Claus-meets-kittens' magic.

However, social media has changed how people watch these adverts: until recently, you had to head to the TV, find a Christmas advert show and sit down with your family for an hour. Nowadays though, we can stream adverts for free on YouTube and see them instantly – so we're watching TV ads on our laptops, not the TV.

Last year research shows that 78% of people watch Christmas adverts online, with over half (51%) looking at the videos on YouTube. However, it's certainly not just adults who are doing this. In fact, 7 out of 10 parents say their children have asked to watch Christmas adverts online too.

Many people don't just want a sneak preview anymore – they want a full-blown review.

What is the point of Christmas adverts?

It seems like an odd question, but it's one worth asking. Why do businesses spend millions on ads that nobody will remember? As somebody who feels under pressure to buy people presents for this time of year, why should I care about what Coca-Cola or Amazon are trying to sell me?

There are two main benefits. Firstly, adverts remind people that they want to buy something specific. If they already know what they want, then they can remember the advert and go ahead with the purchase. Secondly, even if consumers aren't sure what they need or how much it is worth, Christmas ads help them to place value on things. Whether they want a new car or a specific brand of jeans, seeing adverts helps people to justify their financial decisions a bit better.

And it's all about the money….

Let’s take a look at just how much profit was made.

Sainsbury’s ‘1914’ reported a profit of £24 for every £1 they spent on the campaign.

Burberry earned a staggering £10 million in total for Christmas 2016.

The Heathrow Bears lead to an average retail spend of £8.59 per customer

The much-beloved ‘Bear and Hare’ from John Lewis led to total store sales of £734 million from the release of the ad until 28th December.

From merchandising alone, ‘Monty the Penguin’ generated £2.5 million

2016 saw ‘Buster the Boxer’ bring a return of £8 for every £1 spent.

‘Kevin the carrot’ made a killing in merchandise, with Aldi selling out on the first day of release. The public were so desperate to get their hands on the cuddly carrot that they were being resold for as much as £4,000

Why do businesses spend so much on Christmas adverts? Because it works. They want as many eyes as possible on their product. That doesn't mean that consumers will all rush out and buy the advertised items, but it does mean that they get free publicity. It also means that if someone wants to buy a present for somebody, then seeing an advert might trigger them into buying that item.

That's not to mention the merchandise that comes with adverts, from books and cuddly toys to chocolates and t-shirts. Businesses really make the most out of their ads to get us to spend!




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