With the festive season now beginning in September, or August if you shop at Selfridges, Christmas is the behemoth of advertising. The hype of end of year budgets and pressures can be overwhelming, but what you can guarantee is that most people will indulge in eating, shopping and entertainment during Christmas. With this in mind, here’s what you need to know.

1. Christmas starts in November

Singles Day is a huge market opportunity in China.

Singles Day is a huge market opportunity in China.

The latest research from Facebook suggests that from a commercial perspective, festive spending starts on 11th November due to the increasing prominence of Chinese holiday Singles Day. In 2016 the Daily Telegraph reported that £14.2bn was spent in 24 hours on a day nominated for its repeated use of the number 1. Black Friday revenues pale in comparison, coming in at about £1.3 bn in the UK.

However, Black Friday is not to be disregarded. What started as an opportunity for American retailers to take advantage of the long weekend that follows Thanksgiving has become a global shopping phenomenon marking the lead up to Christmas. Closely followed by Cyber Monday, this is a prime opportunity to reach technology fans.

2. Presents!

License: CC0

License: CC0

With mobile use continuing to grow, the importance of creating meaningful connections with consumers on these devices only becomes greater as December 25th approaches.

Under such circumstances the ability to reach audiences in the places where they are naturally highly engaged is a huge advantage. With approximately 40m UK adults owning a smartphone and 47%
using apps to play games, in-game advertising and reward video on beloved platforms like Scrabble or Angry Birds could make all the difference to a campaign, especially with so many landmark gaming titles launching at this time of the year.

3. Movies

It's a Wonderful Life (C) Creative Commons

It's a Wonderful Life (C) Creative Commons

Alongside the dominance of festive films on televisions across the world, the importance of mobile continues to play a role in reaching consumers during Christmas. 65% say mobile advertising influences what films they watch or buy.

The lead up to Christmas is a particularly exciting time at Venatus. Thanks to our work with leading entertainment sites including Variety, IndieWire and Deadline we have the opportunity to be in touch with passionate film audiences there are at one of the most exciting times of the year.

4. The Force is Strong This Christmas

Stormtroopers

Stormtroopers

Star Wars Battlefront II launches in mid-November and is followed a month later by part VIII of the film franchise, The Last Jedi. Potentially more universal than Christmas, this will be the franchise to dominate the winter.

5. Eat, Drink and Be Merry

(C) Matito under CC BY-SA 2.0 

(C) Matito under CC BY-SA 2.0 

Forget Ebenezer Scrooge buying the prize turkey on Christmas morning, the latest research suggests that festive food trends start early. Stir-up Sunday will take place on the 26th November and likely kick-start a trend that will see two thirds of shoppers buy items on impulse rather than planning ahead of time. When combined with the predicted price rise caused by inflation. the need for brands and agencies to connect the right audiences with the right products is paramount.

The rise in FMCG brands embracing in-game and entertainment advertising is very encouraging for all parties. We are thrilled to have seen leading supermarkets working with us to use innovative formats like minigames to engage their audience. It’s a sensible move; although men and women now undertake grocery shopping in equal measure, women are still shown to spend more. Since the largest gaming demographic in the UK is women aged 25-44, gaming is a fantastic way to highlight some of the most important products of the whole season.

6. Christmas Jumpers

(C) Wikimedia Commons

(C) Wikimedia Commons

Think of the delights of sparkled, ruffled, light up jumpers and Bridget Jones will probably spring to mind a lot faster than video games. Mr. Darcy notwithstanding, the not so humble festive sweater has become so synonymous with Christmas that even the hardened petrol heads of Grand Theft Auto have a version. If you can’t count recognition from passionate gamers as a success, we don’t know what you can.