Christmas ads impact shopper behaviour, inspiring gift ideas and purchases, but a new survey cautions that shifting media consumption patterns, especially around streaming and mobile, mean marketers will have to think carefully about their media mix this festive season.

A poll of 1,000 UK consumers planning on doing Christmas shopping, carried out by ad exchange OpenX and The Harris Poll, reported that while the average person watches more live TV than streaming, millennials watch 77% more streaming than live TV. And half of all UK shoppers spend three hours or more per day on their mobile, with one in five millennials spending more than 6 hours on their device daily.

The 2019 UK Christmas Shopping Report also found that just over a quarter of Britons claimed not to watch any live TV and that six in ten preferred to stream their favourite programmes.

And as regards ads, two thirds of Christmas shoppers said they avoided watching any at all on TV, and a further 27% either leave the room or use a set-top-box to skip through them.

Despite what appears to be a widespread reluctance to engage with TV advertising, two thirds acknowledged that they have had an idea for a gift after seeing an advert in some form, with another 35% cent saying they have purchased a gift following seeing an ad. Fathers appear more easily swayed: 41% of dads said they had purchased a gift after seeing an ad.

Overall, one in five shoppers indicated they will rely on adverts to inform them of potential gifts, offers and products this season.

“Although media consumption patterns among UK consumers are changing, the overall effectiveness of advertising has stayed consistent, and there is still huge potential for advertising when done right,” noted Gavin Stirrat, vice president of partner services, EMEA at OpenX.

With streaming TV growing in popularity, there is a clear opportunity to tap this channel, where 54% of consumers said they have seen an ad and paused their program to learn more about the product or service being shown to them.

Marketers will also need to take account of Christmas shopping behaviour, as two thirds of respondents reported they will be using a desktop or laptop to shop for gifts this year; and seven in ten will be doing that at work during their lunch break.

Sourced from OpenX; additional content by WARC staff