“Hi Dick, how’s business ? We’ve got the Christmas shopping season coming up. Just wondering whether you need a radio commercial to reflect this” said my email.
Dick replied: “Hi John. Sorry we are so busy the last thing we need is more business”.
I didn’t know whether to take that reply as a complement or not !
I recall in my earlier years of being in the radio advertising business, Christmas was a big thing. At this time of year, we’d dust off the Christmas library music albums and pretty much every commercial we made had a seasonal feel to them.
Nowadays, advertiser’s appetites for promoting their goods at Christmas has lessened considerably. Folks such as M&S still do their celebrity-packed campaigns, but on a local and regional level, the amount of Christmas campaigns does not appear to match what went on in the eighties and 90’s. And this is not because of the recession either. I and many other proddies have noticed that over the years, we don’t make as many Christmas radio adverts as we used to.
At a networking event, one business owner said to me. “Christmas is a dead cert. It’s not a one-off event. It happens every year, the public know what to do and they will come to my store and shop. There is no need to advertise at Christmas.”
I understand the theory of what he is saying. Christmas and everything it stands for happens by default and in many ways, people are ‘programmed’ to buy gifts for each other. But if I was his main competitor eavesdropping on that conversation, I would have been on the phone to my radio station representative to book a hearty campaign with the deliberate aim of increasing my market share.
In my view, Christmas is the perfect time to present your brand in a brilliant light. In December, pretty much everyone rides on a wave of happiness, excitement, anticipation and fun. In fact, many people find the build up to Christmas better than the actual day itself ! Sceptical business owners should realise 2 things.
1: By helping to create those waves of excitement, happiness or whatever, people will associate those feelings with your brand. Remember the epic Christmas ads from Woolworths ? When those went to air, we all knew Christmas was here. “Woolworths is Christmas” was a line they once used. (My company did the jingle for it) And at the time, it couldn’t be more true. This year, when ‘The X Factor’ came back to our screens, Facebook status updates all over the land proclaimed “Christmas is on it’s way”.
2: Even if you’re busy and can’t take on any more work, advertise anyway. If you don’t want to sell goods or services, use the season to sell your brand. Generally, most folks are in an emotionally good place at Christmas, so use the season to make friends with them.
On December 26th Christmas will be gone, but tens of thousands of businesses will still need customers to keep them going until December comes round again. By being on the radio and associating yourself with the hype, you can do no wrong.