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How can your brand stand out during the festive period?



Break out the Baileys, it’s less than 2 months until Christmas!

Retailers seem to be targeting us earlier and earlier in the year in a bid to get festive cut-through.

Last year Facebook claimed that 40% of mobile shoppers had already finished their Christmas shopping by November, so if early sales is the key objective, then starting early is vital – maybe your brand can be the first brand of the year to start advertising Christmas.

Is August too early?

Probably. For many people, Christmas isn’t even on their radar yet and so all early activity is lost on them or just plain annoying. And we all know people who leave their Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve…

So what else can brands do to stand out?

If you’re John Lewis, or Boots, or one of the supermarkets, you might spend all year making a tear-jerker of an ad and then buy a heavyweight TV campaign.

But as that isn’t really an option for most brands, here are some ideas (for next year, obviously, as we’ve already missed the boat for this year):

Have an alternative Christmas – if everyone else is doing Christmas with gold baubles and Christmas tree motifs, consider standing out from all the shininess. Go for a theme that really brings out one of your product’s USP’s - encouraging consumers to Buy British, for example, so they are not affected by exchange rate.

Avoid Black Friday price discounting – consumers have been trained to wait for deals by the importing from the US of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so fewer retail sales in some sectors are being made prior to then. And whilst Black Friday really works for some sectors, messaging from others can get lost in all the ‘noise’ over that weekend, so you could go out with a message based around ‘the best price from now and up until Christmas’.

Be controversial – in 2015 Mulberry caused uproar by running a spoof nativity ad with a Mulbery bag in place of baby Jesus. Despite numerous complaints to the ASA, the ad was ruled as ‘playful’ and ‘light hearted’. The ad received over 1 million views on YouTube.

Be social – drive brand engagement and encourage audience participation in an event or an advent calendar, using real life posts as part of the bigger campaign. Here’s how Response One did this for ASOS.

Go outdoor - whilst the big retailers like Marks & Spencer have seen the percentage of online sales at Christmas increase significantly over the last few years, footfall in shopping malls and on high streets is c.25% higher in the Christmas period.

OOH could therefore be the perfect channel for reaching Christmas shoppers looking for inspiration especially via synchronised messaging and dynamic copy change serving the right ad to the right customer in the right place. See here for an example of how Very maximised their Christmas moment.

Whatever your plans for Christmas are, Christmas means different things to different people, so there is huge scope for creativity and festive innovation to make sure your yuletide comms chime with your audience.

If you’d like help gaining stand out for your brand at Christmas, (or any other time of the year), then do get in touch.