Survey reveals what consumers really think of seasonal advertising
Seasonal advertising: What consumers think

Seasonal advertising: What consumers think

  • Data reveals over a third of consumers want seasonal advertising to start just a month before the big day
  • Genders align as just under 40% of men and women agree on the optimum time to kick off the festive shopping season
  • 7% of shoppers want seasonal advertising to start more than five months in advance

A new survey of the UK’s shoppers has revealed the optimum time for retailers to start their seasonal advertising.

Retail experts asked 10,000 Brits when businesses should start their seasonal advertising.

Responses ranged from as little as one week before the festivities to over five months in advance, highlighting a divide across the nation when it comes to when to start seasonal shopping.

The top result from the survey revealed 39% of consumers think that seasonal advertising should be kept off the high street until just a month before the celebrations.

One to two months prior was a close second, with 35% of participants voting for this as the most appropriate time to start advertising.

This aligns with last year’s schedule, with Marketing Week reporting that major supermarkets kicked off 2015’s Christmas campaigns on the 1st of November.

The age gap

Data from the survey also highlighted a difference in opinions between generations, with 42% of 54-64 year olds voting for two month’s notice as a reminder of the upcoming seasonal shop – while the majority of 18-24 year olds voted for a maximum of a four weeks warning.

Past retirement, early seasonal shopping takes a back seat – with 44% of over 65s voting to keep festive campaigns confined to the month prior.

According to the study, 45-54 year olds are the most prepared when it comes to stocking up on seasonal goods, with 13% giving seasonal advertising the green light more than five months in advance.

When it comes to gender, the sexes are in agreement on the seasonal advertising schedule – with similar results across the board.

Fringe opinions

Other responses included confining advertising to just one week before the big day.

Some shoppers indicated that their openness to early advertising depended on the season – and while Christmas is off the cards, it’s never too early to start talking about the summer.

Siobhan Scott, Marketing Executive at said “Many consumers are pointing out that Christmas advertising in particular seems to start earlier every year. Retailers seems to be kicking off their festivities with tear-jerking television adverts to provoke emotional response whilst leaving the more tactical sales advertisements until later in November.”

Topline results:

How far in advance should retailers start seasonal advertising?

  • Up to 1 month: 38.7%
  • 1-2 months: 34.7%
  • 2-3 months: 11.7%
  • 3-4 months: 4.7%
  • 4-5 months: 2.0%
  • 5 months +: 7.2%
  • Other: 1%

Notes for editors offers a one-stop printing solution to retailers across the UK, creating professional quality display materials designed to drive in-store sales. With 40 years of experience in the promotional print world, harnesses retail merchandising best practices to optimise the point of sale for maximum profitability.

This data was gathered in August 2016 and includes responses from 10,000 people in the UK. For images or additional data, or to discuss any aspect of these results in more detail, contact

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