August 16th, 2021
A Jolly Holly Christmas 2021!

In the last weeks of 2020, large swathes of the UK were placed back under rigid lockdown – effectively cancelling Christmas for the millions looking forward to some reprieve from the miseries of COVID 19.

Now as we barrel into the last half of the year, many of us are already anticipating what’s going to happen in 2021. To take a nationally representative sense check and glean some insights into how people are feeling about Christmas this year, we turned to Ocean’s consumer research panel, @ The Local.

And it turns out we’re an optimistic bunch. Christmas 2021 looks set to be bigger than ever, with 95% of @ The Local residents planning to go all in on the Christmas cheer this year – a massive jump of 17% on 2019.

Insights for advertisers
With 39% of consumers feeling more confident for Christmas after the successful vaccine roll out, a huge 95% of Britons are planning on some form of Christmas activity. As a result, this season promises to be a lucrative season for advertisers looking to capitalise on the nation’s excitement for the festive holidays.

Get your timing right
With 73% of Britons buying Christmas gifts this year, the best time to reach out to your target audiences is between September and November, with 45% of consumers doing the majority of their shopping then. A blasé 20% do their shopping haul between 1st and 15th December, while a very bold 5% say they will be braving the hordes and buying their gifts in the last week before the big day.

Deck the High Streets with DOOH
Perhaps it’s the pretty lights and decor, or maybe it’s the familiar Christmas songs, but consumers still very much plan on shopping in store: 67% of audiences prefer to shop in-store on the high-street and 56% shopping in malls, so having a presence in out of home environments is a media-must for brands.

This is also backed up by research from Centre for Retail Research which found that in 2018, UK shoppers purchased £53.813 billion worth of Christmas gifts in-store in 2018 and £53.150 in 2019. However, online sales lagged behind at £23.098 billion and £25.431 billion, respectively.

Reaching audiences in that last crucial window of influence – usually the 30-minute window prior to buying – is vital. This is the ideal and contextually relevant time to target audiences with seasonal messaging, ensuring your brand is front of mind during the product consideration phase.

It doesn’t hurt that DOOH’s priming effect is proven to extend well beyond OOH and into the wider media universe, especially mobile and broadcast. With outdoor, advertisers automatically boost their media effectiveness by driving up public awareness.

Priming outdoor audiences with Primetime DOOH
With consumers largely preparing to be out of home during the festive season, Ocean’s fleet of nationwide, city centre-based DOOH screens and networks has advertisers looking to target city-dwelling audiences covered.

As well as priming other media, DOOH screens are primers in their own right. Think of our screens like TVs, and the adverts carried as the equivalent of Primetime TV ad spots. And any OOH plan without Ocean’s DOOH screens would be like a TV plan without peak. Unthinkable.

DOOH Inspo
The Grid, the UK’s first, full-motion, large-format DOOH network, features some of Ocean’s most exclusive flagship OOH locations in some of the UK’s biggest retail environments. With screens located at both London-based Westfields, the Arndale in Manchester and the Bullring in Birmingham – The Grid can deliver 121m impacts and is the perfect full-motion network to reach, influence and inspire audiences in as they’re in product consideration mode.

With 31 screens in key UK cities, including Birmingham, Southampton, Edinburgh and Manchester, the roadside XL Network is the ideal DOOH vehicle to drive awareness on the lead up to the Christmas season. Each screen typically delivers 289k impacts each fortnight, reaching motorists on key arterial routes into their respective cities.

To reach audiences on the lead up to Christmas, find out more about the cities we operate in and the cutting-edge networks based there.

For more information about the research, please contact Ocean’s Insight Manager Monika Tomova: [email protected]

@ The Local research was in field 5th-9th July 2021 and is based on a nationally representative sample.

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