Look Out! The Holiday Ads Are Coming

By: Kayleigh Yerdon

It’s not very surprising that the holidays can be the most important time of the year for retailers. However, the actual magnitude of holiday sales isn’t something we typically think about. Each year, it’s just normal for many of us to start looking for the “perfect gifts” for many of our loved ones. But, by the numbers, it’s actually shown that holiday sales can account for an average of upwards of 25% - 30% of a retailer’s yearly income. That means, from the beginning of November to the end of December – 61 total days, or 16.7% of the calendar year – a retailer can do nearly 30% of its business. That’s a lot of business.

Now, think about your own holiday season. Chances are you go out shopping for friends or family and try to find them each gifts. (And, naturally, as a smart investor, you try to keep these gifts within your holiday budget – sorry, we just had to keep that in there.) But, do you ever really go out knowing exactly what gifts you’re looking for? Probably not, unless you have some super gift-giving power. So, you need to remember that holiday retailers know just this – you usually don’t know what you’re looking for, but you are definitely looking for something. In other words, you can be swayed. And, as all retailers are looking to do large parts of their yearly business during the holiday season, the competition to “sway” consumers can get pretty serious.

 Here’s where the marketing madness comes in. Let’s compare advertising strategies for a second. Researchers have found that TV ads can “sway” up to 36.5% of consumers aged 18 to 34. Oh yeah, millennials, we’re talking to you. This means that at least 36.5% of millennial consumers have noticeably altered their purchasing decisions based on an advertisement they saw on TV. The percentages of people influenced by TV commercials decreases (slightly, however) as age increases, but these numbers generally prove what many of us already knew – the power of TV advertising is real.

However, similar research then studied the influence of social media posts. It was found that a social media post from a friend or family member has influenced at least 81% of social media users. And, here’s the real kicker: a social media post from a company has influenced the purchasing decisions of 78% of social media users. 78%, people! That means companies’ posts on social media are almost equally as influential to your purchasing decisions as things posted by your mom! And, companies’ posts on social media are more than twice as effective as their advertisements on TV when it comes to affecting your purchasing decisions (especially when we consider that more people use social media these days than regularly watch TV, anyway). Essentially, it’s becoming clearer and clearer as time goes by that social media advertisements are extremely effective – to users of all ages.

So, how can this affect our shopping decisions during the most popular retailing time of the year? If you use social media regularly, like 78% of America and 32% of the entire world – you know that marketing campaigns to win over holiday consumers are extremely prevalent. And, this year more than ever, ads on social media are aiming straight for the heart. To give you some examples of these kinds of ads, we picked a few of our favorites from this year’s holiday campaigns to date:

1.      Click here to watch Frankenstein get his heart warmed by the holiday spirit in this heartwarming Apple commercial that advocates for inclusion of all individuals, and all holidays.

2.      …Or here to watch happy families gather around and unwrap some pretty shocking gifts in this Samsung ad.

3.      Maybe you’ll be moved by watching a little unwanted doll find love in this McDonald’s commercial. “Good times.”

4.      And even London’s Heathrow Airport made us want to visit by showing the joys of traveling over the holidays.

5.       McCormick jumped into the mix in with a holiday short to show us the importance of family holiday recipes (and of course, spices).

From restaurants and spices companies, to tech developers and airports – it seems like everyone is rolling out with creative holiday commercials this year, all meant to gain some more fame on social media. One thing is proving true: people like a good heartwarming holiday message. As such, many of these videos have been going viral already! London Heathrow’s ad, in fact, went viral just days after its release and has already raked up a few million views.

Could any of these ads influence your holiday spending decisions? Look out for these and more clever videos on social media this holiday season; but keep in mind that what you see could very well be framing your spending decisions day by day. And, of course, your spending decisions are ultimately reflected in your budget (okay, last time we pull the “budget” card today, we swear). Good luck finding the perfect gifts and happy holiday shopping, investors!