Christmas time is a cornerstone period for brands, retailers and advertisers around the globe. Not least are they vying for consumer attention, it is also a defining time for many product launches. The opportunity to reach a “ready-to-spend” audience is there for the taking, but the competition is high and cutting through the noise is paramount. From the point of view of the consumer too, Christmas shopping can be an exciting, sentimental, unique and exhilarating experience but at times, a downright stressful one. Amid the glitter and lights, there are many challenges to overcome both for brands and shoppers alike and Christmas advertising is at the centre of it all. Budgets are high and exposure, originality and memorability are at the top of the agenda. The pressure is on.
Let’s see how tight integration of OOH within the media mix allows brands to amplify the effectiveness of typical short-term campaign elements of seasonal marketing:
  • Emotion: creating a positive and emotion educing and unforgettable experience
  • A unique festive brand voice: allowing a brand to build a positive festive association
  • Building anticipation: helping build excitement and ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out)
  • Finite offering: encouraging spontaneous, price-immune purchasing behaviour and drive-to-store
  • Personalisation: tying in consumer’s personal identity with brand association
  • Reciprocity: providing added value and building a relationship
  • Product launch: making the most of the year’s main gifting period

Looking to spend

At Christmas time consumer behaviour changes on multiple levels and many characteristics are amplified. Firstly, all audiences are in a buying mode simultaneously. The inclination to treat oneself and their loved ones often makes shoppers ready to spend impulsively and be less price sensitive. The Loss Aversion bias is activated making finite deals extra appealing (especially those which come around ‘only once a year’). Thus, product launches are abundant and time-sensitive, seasonal and exclusive offers effectively catch consumer attention. However, catching attention is half the challenge, maintaining it in this busy market is the second half!
Naturally, as brands try to continually reach as many people as possible, they turn to OOH for its omnipresence, mass reach and fast cover ensuring that audiences are quickly and consistently aware of the latest offers at retailers nearby. This brings us onto the next point.

A multiplied audience

Generally, people are much more mobile during the Holiday Season, whether frequenting seasonal events or browsing shops. Their journeys and day-to-day behaviours change leaving OOH a key medium that still reaches them during these decisive journeys. From roadside and malls to commuter hubs, OOH delivers a magnified audience more frequently than during other times of the year.
This is when using proximity and contextual content must not be overlooked. Brands that use dynamic messaging have the advantage of affecting consumers at the point of purchase while building a positive association through helpful and timely content.

A sentimental and actionable experience

Last but not least, Christmas is a magical time of the year and consumer expectations are centred on having festive, memorable and special experiences. This is probably the one time in the year when shopping is an integral part of the festive experience. People actively look forward to creative and entertaining brand experiences and these expectations are higher every year.
OOH’s unmatched real-life presence gives brands a platform to build special moments and activities for active and receptive audiences. Whether through personalisation or reciprocity, original executions bring a touch of magic into people’s day and help brands stand out from the crowd. And smart positioning can even accentuate the festive spirit while building a positive brand association.

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