In the past, teams were proactive about the Peak season by focusing on Christmas in July. Nowadays, it’s not that simple – and not just because some of us don’t celebrate Christmas. In order to surprise and delight clients and their customers, whilst driving maximum engagement and sales, it’s crucial to consider the full Peak period, which starts in early November and tends to trail off by mid-January.

Black Friday used to be just a day and then became a long shopping weekend. Now the Black Friday Cyber Monday promotions are starting earlier and earlier in November, across both retail and ecommerce. Not only do brands have to start early to have any chance of cutting through the white noise and clutter, consumers have now come to expect it, with 76% of people gift shopping before December.1

The cost of living crisis is of course a key consideration, but one that is likely to drive the need for a longer sales period again this year. We saw that “pressure on household finances” amplified the role of Black Friday in 2022, with nearly half of consumers participating in the event (49%).2

Interestingly, the consumer mindset at each stage changes significantly. The Black Friday period is all about bargains – even across premium – and often about early gifting. Move into December and last-minute Christmas shopping means the luxury of bargain-hunting has to go out the window eventually, especially when it comes to those ‘last chance to order for guaranteed delivery by Christmas’ dates. If messaged right, most brands will see a huge sales uplift on those dates, which is an interesting reflection on the consumer mindset in general.

Enter Boxing Day – the first or second biggest day of the year for most brands with 21m people forecasted to buy something this year2 – and the approach goes from ‘buying for them’ to ‘for me’. Gifts are returned, we treat ourselves with Christmas vouchers and gifted money, and other things like house-hunting and holiday research kick off afresh.

Of course, after new year comes the highly unoriginal but still valid ‘new year, new me’ campaign – often accompanied with Dry January or better yet, Veganuary. It’s about focusing on yourself and treating yourself, but the other key change here is a longer-term, considered mindset.

The Peak period growing ever longer risks messaging and creative fatigue. Fortunately, OOH is perfectly placed to help campaigns stand out and consumers take notice throughout, especially when you consider our key audience (16-34yo) were the keenest Black Friday shoppers in 20223.

The “Last Window of Influence” study examined how OOH is the key medium used to reach shoppers (40%) in the 30-minute window prior to purchase. Awareness of OOH advertising during the ‘pre-purchase’ period increases the likelihood of a consumer finding out more about the product, and consequently, making a purchase.4

When we look to online, we already know that OOH amplifies effectiveness of the wider media mix – up to 54% with Paid Search. In this study by the IPA, brands that spent 15% or more of their media budget on OOH boosted business effects through other channels, such as customer acquisition, profit and market share.5 Plus, Ocean Outdoor’s latest Neuroscience research demonstrated that DOOH seen on social media channels provides a 21% increase in positive brand perception, vs seeing just a standard social brand post. Overall, these digital channels benefit from brand fame afforded by OOH. This crucial omnichannel approach is even more key during the Peak period when online activity continues to grow – with 66% of consumers surveyed planning to buy this year’s Christmas gifts on a laptop, and 39% on their mobile phone.1

As for the challenge of a cluttered marketplace where brands struggle to cut through? There’s only one solution: Ocean Labs. Get in touch to see how we can help you win this Peak season.



  1. Ocean Outdoor ‘At The Local’ panel research 2023.
  2. Mintel Black Friday market research.
  3. Ocean Outdoor ‘At The Local’ panel research 2022.
  4. ‘The Last Window of Influence’ 2011 – Helen Harrison Research Sampler: 604 Adults 15+
  5. Source: IPA databank case studies 2004-2016.