Programmatic Lunch

Christmas ad spend will reach record high of nearly £6bn this festive period

Tyrone Stewart
John Lewis Moz the Monster Christmas ad
John Lewis 'Moz the Monster' Christmas ad

Brands are set to spend a record of close to £6bn on Christmas advertising during the final quarter of 2017, representing the most ever spent on ads during the festive period.

According to the Advertising Association, the £5.92bn ad spend would equate to a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 37 per cent since 2010.

“The Christmas season is a time when we see many of the very best, big-budget advertisements appearing in our media,” said Karen Fraser, director of the Advertising Association’s advertising think tank Credos. “As we forecast a record spend from advertisers, many people now see the official start of Christmas as when we hear or see a particular advertisement.”

In a survey of 1,123 UK adults, carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of the Advertising Association, it was found that 47 per cent of respondents had been moved to tears by a Christmas ad. Furthermore, 33 per cent said that look forward to Christmas ads just as much as they do for any film release, and around 17 per cent have changed plans just to watch the premiere of a Christmas ad.

“Christmas is a key time for advertisers large and small,” said Fraser. “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.”

The link between social media and TV is growing in strength during the period also.

Last year’s Buster the Boxer John Lewis ad became the most shared ad of all-time, generating more than 20m views, and being mentioned more than 30,000 times within two hours of debuting on air.

This year, the retailer will be hoping for similar success with its story of a young boy and his friendship with an imaginary monster, called ‘Moz’, living under his bed.

Elsewhere, Marks and Spencer has drafted in Paddington Bear, Debenhams has a Cinderella story, and Asda’s features a girl and her grandfather visiting a festive food factory, to name a few.

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