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Ad Spend in Advent – the right way to advertise in the run-up to Christmas

For many selling companies, it is the most important time of the year: the Christmas season. Initiated by Black Friday, the weeks leading up to the “festive season” are among the strongest in terms of sales. Advertising also plays a major role in this. Here you can find out which measures retailers should focus on to ensure that the tills ring alongside the jingle bells at Christmas.

posted by Roman Oncsak

There is a reason why many companies outdo each other “every year” with their most contemplative commercials. We at OTTO are also focusing on an atmospheric Christmas campaign again in 2023. After all, good marketing helps retailers to tap into sales potential during the festive season.

Why Christmas advertising?

Competition among retailers is fierce during the Christmas season. Targeted advertising measures can help you stand out from the crowd and improve the visibility of your own brand – because when looking for gift ideas and inspiration, many consumers are receptive to providers and items that they may not have had in their “relevant set” before. This gives retailers the chance to win over and retain new customers in the long term.

Checklist: How to turn the Christmas business into a ho-ho-homerun

1. Plan your campaign launch early

Christmas shopping can still be done shortly before the presents are given, but you should plan ahead when planning your campaign: many companies already advertise their Christmas range at the beginning of November. However, you should start using advertising material by Black Friday at the latest in order to support this particularly high-turnover day (this year on November 24) with advertising.

Allocate the budget for your Christmas campaign early on and develop a clear and well-thought-out strategy before the start, including the objectives of your campaign and the planned channels for playout – whether onsite, offsite or (digital) out of home.

2. Be aware of your target group

What applies to Christmas gifts also applies to advertising materials: they must suit the recipient. Familiarize yourself with the preferences, behaviours and shopping habits of your target group during the Christmas period. Tailor your advertising messages and any discount promotions (more on this below) so that they resonate with your specific clientele.

Found socks under the Christmas tree again when it should actually be the new games console? Modern advertising media such as Sponsored Display Ads (SDA), which use the customer journey to display the right products to the right target group, are more accurate. This allows advertisers to reach potential buyers in the decisive “consideration” phase.

4. Atmospheric content

At Christmas time, anticipation and buying pleasure grow in equal measure. Convey a festive mood in your messages and image content, be creative and stage your products appropriately for the occasion.

5. Promotions and special offers

The greatest gift at Christmas time? A good deal! Advertising is an effective way to draw attention to special promotions, discounts and sales events. When looking for gifts, many people respond to bargains and advertising that entices them with savings – and some people even find something for themselves while gift hunting if the price is already tempting.

6. Every year again: ROAS check

If you had the goose in the oven for too long on Christmas Eve, you won’t make the same mistake again next year. Similarly, retailers should not rely on the same advertising strategy if the results were not right the previous year. Analyze your campaign performance and its ROAS (return on advertising spend) afterwards (and during playout) and make adjustments in the coming year if necessary.

With these tips, your Christmas business should be secured. If you also need help with planning and running your Christmas advertising, the experts at OTTO Advertising will be happy to help you.

About the author Nicola Theuerkauf

Nicola Theuerkauf joined the Corporate Communication department in March 2022. As a Communications Consultant, she initially worked on various projects in the B2B sector. In June 2023, she moved within the team and took on a new role as Editor & Research Specialist. She joined OTTO back in 2007 as Online Marketing Manager. She later gained experience in service communication, sales and B2B marketing. Nicola lives with her family in the west of Hamburg. She loves the Bay of Lübeck and spends as much time as she can with her SUP board on the Baltic Sea waves. Translated with (free version)

Nicola Theuerkauf
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