We all know that Christmas is one of the biggest times of the year for consumer spending. And so, it’s also one of the busiest times for advertising. I actually think it isn’t the best time to advertise though. Don’t get me wrong, there are opportunities available for those with big budgets to own Christmas. So, it all depends on the size of your business. If you can afford a huge buy, do it! Buy big. If you can afford to advertise modestly 52 weeks a year, don’t make your big push during Christmas. There are just too many businesses out there that can outspend you. Advertising costs more at Christmas and everyone comes out to buy campaigns. The pie is big, but the slices are small and very expensive. That’s why I would advise that you buy a modest frequency with a great message. Save your big spending dollars for a time when everybody else isn’t advertising. It will cost you less, and you can buy way more air time. Plus, people are spending year round. Be the big fish in the small pond.
That being said, if you do have the money, SPEND IT! Just don’t sacrifice the other 11 months of the year to do it.
Ok, so how do you get a good message? - It’s the same as any other day of the year. You need to make an emotional connection with the listener. Give them a good reason to visit your store, or use your service. The rules do not change at Christmas. We just have a new angle to incorporate. That also means you shouldn’t stray from your brand. Christmas is not a time to veer away from what you do in the 11 other months of the year. You need to show your clients your businesses take on Christmas. Don’t cobble a loud sales ad together just because it’s Boxing Day. That’s what everybody else does. You’re better than that.
Harness Emotion – It’s always a good idea to make a deep personal connection with the listener. At Christmas, it gets a little bit easier. In general, most people like the holidays. They may say otherwise on a bad day, but usually you should go with the assumption that Christmas is good. Draw on your own experiences. What was Christmas like for you as a kid? What did you eat? Where did you go? What rituals does your family have? Who came over? Answer these questions for yourself and relate it back to your business. Here’s a couple of examples...
- Furniture Store – Talk about the ritual of your Dad/Grandpa reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by the fire on Christmas Eve. He sat in his armchair and you laid on the floor in your PJ’s, spellbound in wide-eyed amazement; lost in every word. Now, it’s your turn to play storyteller. What a great time to get an heirloom armchair to tell stories from for next 20 Christmasses.
- Grocery Store – If you ever were a boy, you know. You’ve lived that day. The day you woke up and realized that lucky charms are awesome. But, they could be even more awesome. It’s Christmastime, and we have Eggnog. If Lucky Charms are good with milk, they’ll be even better with Eggnog. Well, a little part of your childhood died that day. Because, it was just terrible. But, your love for Eggnog prevailed. Eggnog pancakes, Eggnog cookies, Eggnog French toast, Eggnog sticking to your glass like frost on a window pane. Come get some eggnog at ABC grocery. I think it’s time to retry that cereal trick.
The Opposite – I’m always looking for a way to turn something on its head. Remember that there is usually good value in the opposite opinion. There are a lot of people out there that hate the holidays. Maybe your business should advertise to them? Your message will stand out and create a big buzz if you say “at ________ we hate Christmas as much you do.” Of course you’ll want to build a suitable campaign around the line. Also, be certain that your clientele agrees with your sentiment. You don’t want to drive people away. The point I’m making is if a certain position will garner a lot of attention, it’s worth exploring. I think this is a good example. It isn’t likely that it will fit most businesses, but when it does make sense, it will stand out like crazy (and isn’t that the whole point of advertising?)