Should I Say Merry Thanksgiving or Happy Christmas?

NOVEMBER 9, 2018

I saw my very first Christmas TV ad of the 2018 holiday season on Friday November 2nd around 9p CST. Now I’m not saying that the one I saw last Friday was the very first Christmas TV ad of the 2018 holiday season overall that ran, just the first one that I personally saw. Since seeing that first one just last Friday, I can now say that I have seen countless Christmas ads. Literally countless. I had attempted to keep track of how many I had seen after having seen that first one, and lost track sometime on Saturday evening, at which time I was up to 14 ads. This, given the fact that I had not watched a ton of TV between 9p on Friday and 8p-ish on Saturday.

As one who loves Christmas and looks forward to the Holiday Season, I am always amazed at two things:

1. How quickly the season comes – each year my wife, our kids and I always say the same thing; “I can’t believe we’re already heading towards Christmas!”

2. How early the Christmas and Holiday ads start running. (lovingly referred to as Christmas Creep)

But is there any truth to this perception of Christmas and Holiday advertising starting earlier and earlier each year? Well the answer is yes…and no. While traditionally, the Christmas and Holiday advertising push usually began a week or so before Thanksgiving, and then began in earnest immediately afterwards on Black Friday, research has shown that many retailers in fact have routinely began their advertising pushes right after Halloween, with a fair number having done so prior to Halloween. So in actuality there really is a rather established history of Christmas and Holiday advertising beginning in October or early November.

However, the fact of the matter is that the perception that holiday advertising is beginning earlier, doesn’t actually stem from how early the advertising is first being seen (again research shows Holiday advertising in October & early November has been occurring for quite some time), but rather it stems from the sheer increase in the volume of advertising that is now being seen earlier. This increased volume comes from more, and new, retailers beginning their advertising earlier, as well as from increases the amounts of advertising these advertisers are putting in-market. And of course, what also significantly lends to the perception of the advertising beginning earlier is the increase in the media outlets through which these campaigns are now able to reach us; all forms of broadcast, cable and subscription-service TV & radio, myriad print formats, plus, social media portals, web and mobile…not to mention sponsorships and tradition & digital Out-Of-Home.

So, whether Christmas and Holiday advertising is beginning earlier each year depends on how you look at it…pun intended! But regardless of whether it is or isn’t beginning earlier, we at Black Rhino Marketing Group wish you a warm and safe Holiday Season, Seasons Greetings and a Merry Christmas!