Christmas Advertising

Picture of Anna Balfour

Anna Balfour

It's that time of the year again, and with Christmas ad season well and truly under way, we take a look at some of the trends for this year’s festive campaigns along with a few of our favourites.

Each year, as soon as the clock hits midnight on 1 November, all thoughts of Halloween disappear and attention turns to the most important time of year, Christmas, as retailers launch their bid for Christmas sales success.

This year, many of our favourite retailers appear to be bucking the trend of producing festive blockbusters and instead opting for continuations of previous campaigns or bringing back old classics.

This consistency shouldn’t be viewed negatively, after all marketers tend to spend all year emphasising the importance of delivering a consistent marketing message, only to throw that strategy out the window at the mention of Christmas – plus consistency doesn’t have to be boring.

This shift away from festive blockbusters has been playing out over the last couple of years. Sainsbury’s, which used to go up against John Lewis on the blockbuster stakes, dropped that strategy last year, with marketing director Mark Given explaining it was a decision based on the fact that "brands are built by consistency over time".

There are likely to be other areas getting more spend – digital and in-store/experiential the most obvious examples. This decline in TV ad spend is indicative of brands taking a more cautious approach this year whether because of Brexit uncertainty, growing competition or wider struggles on the high street.

Saying this, we can still rely on a few companies competing to be the Christmas number 1 with their campaigns… it wouldn’t be Christmas without them.

Here are a few of our favourites this year:

Spectacular results

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