Every year consumers wait in anticipation for the initial unveiling of the Christmas TV adverts, the 2-3 minute slots that they are aired in have become almost as important as advertising itself. John Lewis kicked off the big reveals during prime time Saturday night TV. Other big name brands soon followed!
Compared with general advertising, it could be said that Christmas TV advertising ROI is almost irrelevant. It is one of the most important times for a company’s PR strategy, with a battle against the rest to get your brand into the forefront of shoppers’ minds at this all-important time of year.
There is huge scrutiny for big-name brand ambassadors and their campaigns and the idea of showcasing ‘products’ becomes almost redundant, with many retailers, including John Lewis, featuring one or no products at all.
Although some people are cynical and unconvinced by what could be seen as mercenary pieces of marketing, for most people, the competition for the best Christmas advert has become a fundamental part of the run-up to the big day. Many see it as important as the Christmas lights switch on and hearing the first Christmas songs on the radio.
With the ever growing importance of mobile technology, the best brands will be taking into consideration the importance of conversion from big screen to portable devices. This movement will play a huge role in online shopping and active presence on social media platforms, prompting the idea of “shop while you watch.”
Christmas can account for almost half of a retailer’s sales, which makes this a vital time of year for any brand, big or small. The Christmas advert concepts will be agreed months in advance. For example John Lewis had decided upon the ‘Man on the Moon’ idea by March this year. The process then begins all over again after the launch of the existing Christmas advert. Before Christmas 2015 is over, retailers will already have set briefs for next year’s adverts and the agency will be producing a shortlist of ideas.
The timing of the big reveal, the execution of an idea and the advert itself is crucial, as the status of Christmas advertising grows ever more important every year, so does the pressure to be the biggest and the best.