Busting some Christmas myths and how OOH can help

Debunking Christmas Ad Myths: OOH Insights & Strategies

It might be sunny outside with not a cloud in the sky, but many businesses and advertisers are already thinking ahead to frosty days and a more festive time of year. As they start to think about those blockbuster ads, we’ve all come to love and expect we’ve taken a look at how OOH can support Christmas campaigns, and help retailers to engage audiences during this crucial time of year. So as Christmas planning gets underway (after all it’s only 5 months away!), we’ve rounded up our top five myths around advertising at Christmas.

1. Everyone buys Christmas presents online

Online shopping has become de rigour for many of shoppers, and it would be easy to assume that most shopping is done online around Christmas, especially with most people buying gifts for multiple recipients. However, last year 77% of gift buyers made an in-store purchase and despite the growing strength of online, stores remain the single most popular channel to purchase and browse for gifts. Many shoppers also see the in-store shopping experiences as part of their Christmas preparations with 55% of gift buyers visiting a high street to get them into the Christmas spirit. 

With so many shoppers buying in-store and using the experience to get into the Christmas spirit, OOH represents the last window of opportunity for shoppers. In fact, 58% of people say that advertising for a product near to where they can buy it, makes it more relevant for them.

Given how impactful this type of contextual advertising can be on consumers, and with 92% of people seeing OOH messages in the 30mins prior to purchase, carefully planning a campaign to target these two factors can have real impact.

2. TV is the best way to reach 16-34’s

Whilst it might seem that most 16-34-year olds are permanently glued to one type of screen or another, they are in fact light TV users, and 82% of them are exposed to OOH making it a natural complement to a TV schedule. Additionally, broadcast characteristics and the fast build of reach enables complementary messages to land with key audiences. Digital OOH is particularly relevant for this audience, as they are 18% more likely to see DOOH, making it an efficient way to reach them.

3. TV is the only way to launch a Christmas ad

In recent years, the Christmas advertising campaigns from big retailers have become a something of a phenomenon with premiers, supporting products and national coverage. However, OOH can be a brilliant way to complement a TV creative as well as online, especially as films can be difficult to cut through or simply not reach some younger audiences. Both OOH and DOOH can capture and differentiate those strong, emotional TV ads at the point of purchase. Sainsbury’s creative special build OOH ads provided great examples of bringing the Christmas campaign to life for consumers.

4. The majority of Christmas spend takes place in December

Online sales continue to pull traditional December spend forward with November taking the lead as Black Friday has grown in popularity. With 67% of those who bought something over Black Friday bought something as a gift, highlighting the evolution of shopping habits.

On top of this, women tend to start their shopping earlier than men with 28% having made a purchase before October. However, 33% of men have purchased before November and 68% by December, defying the myth that men in particular leave their shopping until the last minute! In fact, Christmas ad searches peak on November 10th.

5. It’s difficult to stand out at Christmas 

There are a huge range of creative solutions that can help brands to make an impact with Christmas shoppers. For example, in a UK media first, Waitrose used Ocean Outdoor’s large format displays locations at Eat Street in Westfield London and the Four Dials, Westfield Stratford, to make it snow every 30 minutes as it played its festive TV advert ‘Snowed In’.

And of course, not forgetting the importance of post-Christmas sales!
An estimated 30 million shoppers braved the sales last year spending almost 4 billion. Approximately 50% of shoppers are estimated to be tourists, with Chinese, Middle Eastern and US shoppers spending four or five times the amount of a UK shopper, making the most of the weak pound. Harrods received one million customers during the four-week winter sale.

Overall, online shopping might be very popular, but it hasn’t yet been able to take over the joys of in-store Christmas shopping to get into the festive spirit. As a medium OOH is a great tool to support wider Christmas campaigns, make a lasting impact and even help influence shoppers as they hunt down that perfect gift.

To learn more about Christmas shopping and the opportunities for OOH, read through the Talon Generator deck and find out how to get involved.