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December 11, 2019updated 13 Dec 2019 11:45am

Are Christmas adverts even worth it?

The marketing departments of some retailers have truly missed the mark with their Christmas adverts. 

By GlobalData Consumer

‘Tis the season when adverts from major retailers once again capture our hearts in a flurry of festivities. With more and more money being pumped into Christmas adverts by struggling high street retailers in a seemingly never-ending arms race of one-upping another, is it even worth it anymore?

The marketing departments of some retailers have truly missed the mark with their Christmas adverts. 

Deliveroo’s most recent advert was banned for being misleading by the Advertising Standards Agency – featuring a woman distributing various meals from different restaurants from a single bag. 

This wasn’t the biggest flop, however, with Peloton’s Christmas advert widely derided as ‘sexist and dystopian’, with its old-fashion notions of ‘keeping your man’ serving as the advert’s main message. Unlike the Deliveroo advert, a whopping $1.5bn had been wiped off Peloton’s market value by the time it had made it around social media. 

For other retailers, their Christmas adverts have had record funding. John Lewis’s notorious annual Christmas advert ‘Edgar the Dragon’ was good, but was it worth the £7m price tag? Likewise, Aldi and Sainsbury’s also spent big sums of money on their respective Christmas adverts, using top-notch technology and CGI to get the message across. 

With this in mind, GlobalData notes that 78.8% of consumers surveyed stated that Christmas adverts had no impact on where they do their shopping. Many of these high-street retailers are struggling, including John Lewis, who posted its first-ever half-year loss of £25.9m.

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While there is strong evidence that Christmas adverts do generally bring strong returns, retailers need to be smarter in a climate of penny-pinching. This year’s prime example is Hofad Hardware’s Christmas advert, a relatively unknown Welsh hardware store that spent £100 on its advert – and captured the hearts of millions.