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Should you ever consider a Christmas creative?

The expected perennial protagonists have showcased their Christmas ads this year; some perhaps a tad more reserved than we’re used to considering the year we have had, and others still producing big-budget masterpieces. The latter tend to be more brand-led and are designed to increase consideration and separate said brand from the surrounding clutter. But from a performance perspective, assuming the airtime is as cost-effective as possible, is a Christmas themed creative the right way to approach this time of year, and does it make a difference where it counts?

Let’s explore the argument for: Christmas themed creatives can be genuine response drivers, as was the case for a client of ours in the charity sector that made minimal edits to their usual creative to add an element of Christmas to the copy. They subsequently saw a 12% increase in response rates from late November to Christmas Eve 2019, when compared to their creatives that had no festive references.

On the contrary, an alternative take is an e-commerce retail client that did not address Christmas with their creative in December 2019 and still saw positive results. The creatives, a mix of 20” and 10” ads had both the logo and brand name on-screen throughout; clearly showed the product and its purpose and utilised a clear call to action at the end of the spot. There was a 75% increase in response rate month-on-month, showing it’s not just tinsel and jolly elves that the public wishes to see in December.

That last point is important. It’s crucial to consider what people want.  As shown below, YouGov Profiles data shows that almost top of the list of importance in TV ads (to consumers) is to know what the product and service is about, second only to the ad being memorable.

A forgettable ad won’t drive much in terms of any measurable results. Disney-esque stories and music tracks may feel important when getting carried away with one’s budget allowance, but it is vital not to forget what actually drives real business outcomes derived from your TV ad.

All Response Media viewpoint

Our experience suggests that Christmas references in creatives can work, and when used in the right context can lead to increased response rates. However, it must be remembered that a heavier deciding factor is the fundamental response-driving mechanics that lie within a well-produced Christmas creative. The elements instilled by our e-commerce client referenced above go some way in indicating what cannot be lost sight of when devising a contextual festive ad. The fundamentals are what will deliver results.

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