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Brits want Christmas ads to give them the feelgood factor

Consumers are crying out for advertisers to provide some much-needed festive cheer this Christmas, according to research by video advertising companies Unruly and Tremor Video.

Analysing British consumers’ attitudes, emotions and buying behaviours ahead of this year’s festive season, the study found that consumers are already prioritising and planning their holiday shopping.

What do UK consumers want from advertisers this Christmas?

  • Increasingly gloomy news reports have seen British consumers resign themselves to spending Christmas under lockdown.

  • The 2020 Holiday Insights Report found that 47% wished Christmas adverts to make them feel happy, while 44% longed to feel warm and 31% sought nostalgia.

  • Others had different priorities with 25% seeking inspiration and 17% wanting to feel amused. In all 15% of those asked wanted seasonal ads to make them feel informed - far below the 47% proportion recorded by a similar Unruly study pre-pandemic.

  • In a sign that many are sick to the back teeth of hearing about Covid-19, 33% hoped that advertisers would refrain from referencing the pandemic.

  • Tremor International, owner of Unruly and Tremor Video, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 833 Britons through October to arrive at its findings.

What will consumerism look like in a Christmas like no other?

  • An abundance of free time sees 25% of Brits undertake Christmas shopping planning earlier than last year with a majority completing most purchases in November.

  • 56% of cost-conscious consumers are holding out for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to grab a bargain, with 18% expecting to conduct most of their purchases during the sales weekend. A further 18% concede they are likely to spend more during the tent pole shopping extravaganza than last year.

  • Unsurprisingly 50% intend to undertake all or most of their Christmas shopping online with 91% likely to increase or at least maintain their Christmas spend in at least one category irrespective of the economic picture.

  • Highlighting the current state of the nation, 21% admitted to feeling sad although the same proportion also professed themselves to be excited. The most common response, cited by 29%, was indifference.

Brands still ‘unsure’ how to approach the festive season

  • This Christmas is shaping up to be more important than ever for UK consumers as the importance of family and home is hammered home by the pandemic.

  • Rebecca Waring, global VP of insights at Unruly said: “We know many brands are still unsure how to approach Christmas advertising this year. Our research shows a third of people think ads should reference Covid, while just under half of respondents had no opinion either way."

  • Above all Waring notes that: “... advertisers should not feel pressured to make a Covid-themed Christmas ad."

  • Alex Khan, group managing director, international at Unruly said: “Online shopping and TV consumption are on the rise this Christmas, and as these channels are increasingly embraced due to continued stay-at-home restrictions, advertisers should seize this opportunity to deliver highly-targeted, personalised ads across all screens, particularly CTV and mobile."