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Tis the B2B PR season to be jolly: Record Ad spend forecast for Christmas period

Written by Simpatico PR

Posted on 2021-11-08

When John Lewis launches its annual TV advertising blitz we know the Christmas season has officially arrived.

The high street retailer has dropped its long-awaited festive advert for 2021 a week early, so brace yourselves, Christmas advertising campaigns will now be coming in thick and fast. Marks & Spencer, Boots and Sports Direct are some of the brands that have followed suit, launching their adverts in the same week.

Our role as a B2B PR agency involves tracking key news diary events such as advertising expenditure prediction data announcements – looking at these suggests we’re headed for a big Christmas splurge.

In fact, the latest Advertising Association and WARC Expenditure Report has forecast that brands will spend nearly £1bn more on Christmas advertising than in 2020 – making this the largest annual rise on record.

The figures reveal an optimistic sign that marketers are looking to make up for the pandemic slump with ad spend forecast to grow by 24.7% this year, surpassing July’s predictions by 6.6%.

It seems things are also looking up for out-of-home as a media channel, with a projected increase in spend of 27.7% in 2022. This follows IPA’s somewhat less encouraging Bellwether report last month that revealed a reduction in OOH spend for the last quarter of 2021.

With a variety of B2B PR clients, we placed three businesses in The Drum’s article covering the AA WARC report, where they discussed what this means for the industry and what we can expect from advertisers as Christmas fast approaches.

Read the full article here: AA/WARC: brands to spend £1bn more on Christmas advertising this year

James Coulson, Managing Partner, Analytics and Consultancy at Kepler, believes brands will go big this Christmas despite supply chain issues disrupting media plans. He expects “major blockbuster Christmas campaigns”, which could become “a blueprint for future seasonal marketing”.

However, on the creative side, Jem Lloyd-Williams, Chief Executive Office at Mindshare UK, sympathises that “this must surely be one of the trickiest times ever to produce advertising that chimes with the mood of the nation over the holidays.”

On OOH’s growth, Alistair MacCallum, Chief Exec at Kinetic believes that the latest figures are a “testament” to the media channel’s “resilience and enduring appeal”.

He added: “The ongoing recovery and positive forecasts are driven by clients keen to take advantage of the sector’s ongoing investment in digital technology, automation and data optimization to make OOH smarter, faster and more adaptable. Richer real-time insights into audience mobility and behaviour have enabled us to provide brands with more targeted, flexible and creative approaches that have maximized the impact of OOH.”

The brilliant thing about B2B PR is that even very technical issues trace back to real life events, issues or developments. And the great thing about B2B PR agency life is that it does stop for Christmas.

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