Christmas is the most important collective holiday of the year for the UK, and for most consumer-facing companies their performance at this time is the difference between a good and a bad year – but this year’s celebration will be unlike any we have known.

In the UK, there’s an understandable concern over whether we might be in lockdown at Christmas or not and that’s exacerbated by worries over what the one proper holiday that most people have is going to look like. (For more, read WARC’s report: What brands can expect for Christmas 2020)

But despite uncertainties, a celebration will take place. Past data from a recession like that of 2008 show that in the face of deeply negative consumer confidence sales for the season still grew.

Financial concerns will loom large in many minds. A recent survey by eBay found that 37% of respondents said that income or financial security was a top factor that will influence what they decide to buy or how they spend on gifts and celebrations in the run up to Christmas.

Though unusual for the season, e-commerce is expected to be crucial. Capacity and online availability (including new ideas like share of search) are imperative, but there is a deeper unknown as the final shop before the big day tends to take place in person (as people tend to seek quality)

When it comes to advertising, the mechanics of success are well explored and are mostly concerned with nailing simple ideas like clear branding and by putting out work that is meaningful. Of course, the simplest ideas are the hardest to execute.

This year, it’s probable that the stories brands choose to tell will be different from the general thrust of Christmas. We have lived through a health crisis, which has tested our communities and has shown – with devastating brutality – that society is only as strong as its weakest link.

Sourced from WARC