Christmas adverts, bigger than Jesus

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Since the start of November almost every major retailer has released their offering to 2016’s eclectic selection of Christmas adverts.

Each year the popularity of adverts seems to grow, with hundreds of millions of views on social media between them and countless more on television, this year has proven to be the most hotly debated ever.

This is of course reflected in the retailer’s budgets, which each year seem to grow as exponentially as their popularity. It’s estimated that spend this year could reach £5.6 billion, £300 million more than last year.

John Lewis is thought to have spent £7 million this year, overshadowed by Burberry’s rumoured £10 million budget.

According to Sainsbury’s for every £1 spent on its campaign in 2014, they raked in a £24 profit. It’s no wonder why retailers are so keen to win the battle of the Christmas ads. But what is it that makes us Brits so mad about them?


FOR A ROUNDUP OF THIS YEARS BEST ADS: Retail Gazette Loves: 2016’s Christmas Adverts


Research has found that Brits look forward to Christmas adverts more than the Queens speech. It is also one of the top five talked about topics over the season, above how much weight we have gained and the Christmas number one.

“In no other country is there any similar phenomenon – our closest neighbour in terms of consumerism is the US and the Macy’s Christmas advert is currently showing 36,000 views compared to the 14 million plus for Buster the Boxer,” head of retail research at Context Adam Simon said.

“The John Lewis You Tube channel has, for example, 113,000 subscribers, compared to Macy’s which has 36,000, and on that channel there are 100’s of product and service videos. Christmas TV adverts are a particularly British way of driving the omnichannel shopping experience.”

Alex Gunz, lecturer in marketing at Alliance Manchester Business School pointed out that our own retailers may have started this trend: “What is different about the UK of late is that there has been a boom in high-budget narrative form adverts, mostly from supermarkets and department stores.

“As far as I can tell, John Lewis started this by marrying the season’s pleasure/anxiety about buying the perfect gift with their brand positioning. These have been very successful at generating buzz and attention, and have coincided with steadily growing revenue for John Lewis.”

The explosion on social media would seem to sug

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