Marketing for change, not just for Christmas

Date: 13/12/2019 Written by: Chloe 5 minutes to read.

Christmas Ad season is well and truly underway, and we've all got our favourites.

Whether it's singing cardboard boxes, a little fire breathing dragon, or the return of everyone’s favourite Extra-Terrestrial that sparks your festive feels, everyone has their thoughts on the industry at this time more than ever. It seems you can’t get away with just feeling indifferent about Christmas adverts either now, it’s a love or hate scenario. But what makes us resonate with some adverts more than others?

Take Edgar The Excitable Dragon (John Lewis and Waitrose) when we think beyond the cute factor, we have a message of acceptance, friendship and individuality, but that’s just my personal and (in theory) generational view. I am, and proud to be a millennial – but what does that mean? How does that affect how I am marketed to? (If you don’t know your Millennials from your Generation Z check out our guide here…) Generally speaking, Millennials, Generation Zers, and looking ahead, Alpha’s, are increasingly susceptible to the ideologies around acceptance, challenging norms, fluidity and a strong moral focus, so it’s a tick in the box for John Lewis and Waitrose from me!

With this theory in mind then, how does Edgar convert to sales?

Adverts at Christmas have become more like anticipated blockbusters than commercials you fast forward through, they are even becoming a pinnacle in people’s festive traditions. I think anyone on any form of social network will most likely read a post along the lines of “I’ve seen the Coca-Cola advert…. Holidays are coming!” over the past couple of weeks.

There’s no other time of year that brands have such a captive audience, across so many open channels of communication, the humble tv ad is taken far beyond the TV set.

Millennials are currently aged between 23 - 38, Generation Z 9 – 22 and Alphas below that, so it’s fair to say this age bracket has the Christmas buying power all wrapped up. Across these generations you’ve got parents, young families, children and everything in between - a wise group to target if you ask me.

But if we think beyond Christmas sales, and look at the bigger picture what long term effects can we expect?

With our insights on generational motivations in mind and our captive audience, now is the perfect time for retailers to be instilling messages of brand values and purpose into the mix. These generations value brands who give back, who have a positive mission, and importantly who align with their ideologies. We are already seeing the effects of this, with the increase in socially conscious brands, and the fall of massive brands who, 20 years ago were considered household names (Woolworths, BHS & Thomas Cook) before you realise it a 2.5-minute tv ad about a dragon is actually steps to future-proofing a brand, another point JL & Partners.

So while I appreciate we aren’t all in the Edgar fan club, whatever your view; heart-warming tale of acceptance and friendship, or destructive fire-starting lizard…there’s no denying that research and insight on generational motivations, beliefs and behaviours play one of the biggest roles in advertising and, in turn, the future landscape of our Highstreet and retailers.

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