Christmas Adverts in a Cost of Living Crisis

The UK’s cost of living crisis presents a fresh challenge for retailers this festive season and their Christmas advertising campaigns.

In recent weeks, major retailers have launched their festive campaigns, creating a buzz of Christmas adverts competing for attention through various unique approaches—whether by tugging at heartstrings or making people laugh. However, this year, with many shoppers facing financial constraints, retailers find themselves tasked with striking the right tone for their 2023 adverts.

John Lewis, a renowned retailer known for capturing attention with its Christmas adverts, deviated from its usual tear-jerking tone this year. In collaboration with Saatchi & Saatchi, the brand introduced the advert ‘Snapper, the Perfect Tree,’ featuring the tagline ‘Let Your Traditions Grow.’

[Image Creds: Digital Spy]

The advert depicts a young boy who lovingly tends to a seed, convinced he is nurturing an extraordinary Christmas tree. Surprisingly, the rapidly growing plant turns out to be a Venus flytrap with a playful personality. Despite this unexpected twist, the boy discovers that the spirited plant is eager to partake in all the festive activities.

The advert actively embraces the themes of family and changing traditions. It conveys that a ‘perfect’ Christmas is about finding joy in coming together with loved ones, regardless of the specific traditions involved. The advert’s emphasis on evolving traditions appears to respond to the uncertain times faced by many in the UK. Similarly, the focus on family serves as a strategic move to make the advert appear less consumerist and more heartfelt. This is especially important at a time when financial constraints limit extravagant gift spending.

The pivotal role of Christmas adverts in driving retailers’ profits during the festive period is evident, and their success hinges on their ability to actively connect with consumers. Therefore, it is imperative for brands to consider the changing circumstances and financial limitations of their customers in their advertising strategies.

[Feature Image Creds: John Lewis]

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