A record Christmas spend has a third of Brits more excited for the ads than movies


By John McCarthy | Media editor

November 8, 2017 | 3 min read

The Advertising Association (AA) has researched the spend and anticipation factor around the incoming barrage of Christmas ads, it turns out 33% of the UK public is more excited for the flagship ads than the festive movie slate that includes Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The period looks to be the highest Christmas advertising spend ever, coming in just under £6bn according to the AA. The figure has risen steadily since 2010, 37% in the last seven years.

Star Wars

Star Wars is competing against Christmas ads this quarter.

Among the biggest spenders are likely to be John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer (who has led with a Paddington Bear tie-in). Aldi, Argos and Asda are also out of the gate early with many more retailers expected to make their impact in the coming weeks.

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Further findings from the research include the fact that 47% of respondents have been moved to tears by a Christmas ad they’ve seen or heard. Somewhat even more compelling is the news that one in six (16%) stated they have actually changed their plans to catch the premiere of their most anticipated Christmas ad.

Karen Fraser, director of Credos, said: “Christmas is a key time for advertisers large and small. In recent years, marketers of businesses using emotive Christmas advertising have won some of the industry’s biggest awards. Businesses delivering advertising with emotional resonance can be rewarded with powerful, long-term effects into the new year and beyond.”

In 2016, 26% of ad spend was invested in the final quarter in the run up to Christmas. The period accounted for more than half the ad spend in the following sectors; television and home cinema (66%), fragrances (58%), jewellery and watches (55%) and children toys and games.


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