Dec 16, 2011
The Total Media Christmas Special Newsletter brought to you by the Insight Team
HOW WILL CHRISTMAS 2011 BE REMEMBERED?
For many retailers and market sectors, Christmas is a critical period for business growth, but with consumer confidence at an all-time low and increased pressure on the cost of living, what will Christmas 2011 bring?
Forty five percent of people plan to buy gifts for fewer people and 37% plan to buy fewer presents. Women are far more likely to be belt tightening, with half of them planning to buy for fewer people and 41% buying fewer gifts over all. However, women place far more emotional investment into gifting, with 74% agreeing that it is the effort rather than the price, compared with 58% of men.
Traditionally retailers focus on women and housewives at this time of year, but men are far less likely to modify their spending behaviour as a result of the recession, with 33% saying it has had no effect on their Christmas spending (compared to 23% of women). Men are far less concerned with minimising waste, with just 36% planning to buy less food and drink this year compared with 46% of women. Men seek convenience and ease when it comes to gifting. They are less price sensitive (77% consider price important vs 85% of women) and they invest far less emotion into gifting - just 62% claim to get a great deal of joy out of the act of giving compared with 78% of women.
They are also more likely to spend as little time as possible (31% vs 19%) and put less effort into thinking about what the recipient would like (68% vs. 84%). Gifting represents so much more than the exchange of presents. Giving directly benefits the emotional and social wellbeing of the giver and the experience itself is important as 60% of people want to be with the recipient when they open it.
Santa Claus has been banished from the cover of the Radio Times Christmas issue this year, over fears he would be viewed as a "symbol of over-indulgence" as households struggle in a faltering economy. The two-week festive edition of the magazine, which brings in about £2m in revenue and has a print run of close to 3m, instead features a "flowing festive illustration" that better reflects the sentiment of austerity facing consumers this Christmas.
The Radio Times said that the illustration by artist Kate Forrester – who has handled work for clients including John Lewis and Penguin Books – is "nostalgic and beautiful to lift the spirits in troubled times".
"For many years Santa has been a cheery fixture … but somehow that didn't feel right this year," said the Radio Times editor, Ben Preston. "Would Father Christmas be seen as a bloated, red-faced symbol of over-indulgence? At a time when so many people are hunkering down with friends and family and turning their backs on extravagant gift-giving, we wanted something different."
Despite the magazine's sensitive view towards its cover image, buyers are being asked to swallow a 4.2% cover price rise. The publisher has developed something of a tradition of dropping Santa when times have been tough. Following the infamous Black Wednesday in 1992 he was replaced with a snowman. He also disappeared from the Christmas cover when the dotcom bubble burst in the early 2000s; in the year of the 1926 general strike; after the 1929 stock market crash; after Britain was bailed out by the IMF in 1976; and during the 1981 recession.
On a lighter note, our congratulations go out to Guardian Media who have won Campaign’s media owner of the year 2011. The Guardian were recognized as a newspaper brand that has not only adapted well to the impact of digital with 20% share of revenue , but also for growing it’s print share and also continues to break the most innovative insightful journalism around.
Having recovered from the news of Father Christmas being removed from the Radio Times cover, a further perusal will tell you that Christmas day on TV will throw up a particularly interesting dilemma. No it is not the agony of choosing to watch The Queens speech or Aladdin (Aladdin every time).
It is in fact the dilemma of either watching BBC’s usual line up of Christmas specials which this year will be the annual Eastenders episode and 9pm followed by a brand new Absolutely Fabulous at 10pm OR will you rebel against the BBC and instead tune into the ITV’s 2 hour long special of the hugely popular Downton Abbey?
This is the first time that ITV has gone head to head with the BBC regarding the timing of their Christmas specials, & with the recent shift of the Saturday night Crown to Strictly which received record viewing this year we will be watching this one with some scrutiny. A quick vote around the office indicates ITV may take it with 67%, but the real result will be in the viewing data so watch this space!
Beyond 2011 TV is a hot topic for discussion as we move towards a connected viewing experience and our TV team never short of an opinion have posted their perspective on one emerging aspect of this – addressable advertising. Definitely worth reading over a mince pie and sherry! http://www.totalmedia.co.uk/insights/blog/153
It’s been a great year for commercial radio with listening figures up 2% and 9 in 10 of the UK tuning in at least once a week. Digital listening hours have also broken through the 300 million mark for first time, with 28.2% of all radio listening now via a digital receiver.
Very much the theme as we move into 2012 is the transition from ‘radio’ to ‘audio’ where the growth in online listening and the flurry of new digital platforms has created a vast array of opportunities to connect with new listeners in different ways. Next year should see the online radio market heat up as We7; a free to user, ad-funded service who differentiate against paid for subscription models such as Spotify are embarking on a branding and awareness campaign with a TV ad seeking to position the brand as a ‘personal DJ’ . The campaign will also be promoting We7’s library of 10 million tracks and the availability of the service via mobile applications.
To mark this shift Absolute Radio are to host a digital event at the Houses of Parliament on January 12th 2012 in conjunction with Ed Vaizey - Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. ‘Redefining Radio’ – How the internet is transforming radio will showcase thought-leadership from key players within the digital & audio industry including speakers from the BBC, Radioplayer, Facebook, Absolute Radio and broadcaster, writer and comedian Dave Gorman – with more speakers to be announced.
For the first time ever Radio 5 Live will be teaming up with the commercial Industry to produce a 2 hour Christmas Day special looking back on the highs and lows of 2011 so tune into that if you remember, although in keeping with the Industries digital developments I’m sure there will be plenty of places to catch it after if you can’t escape the sofa!
And finally good to see also radioland or should say ‘audioland’ adding to the Christmas cheer with Christian Radio having signed up nearly 20,000 people to take part in a Carol Singing World Record attempt on 18th Dec! There’s still time if you want to get involved by going to www.christmasstarts.com for more information.
Time Out, the listings magazine, is to use the digital screens on the London Underground to broadcast regular recommendations of things to do in the city, through a partnership with CBS Outdoor. The "digital advertorials" will run on 60 digital cross-track projector screens in London Underground station across the city and will serve recommendations including theatre, exhibitions and restaurants.
Every other day, from today, Time Out will provide recommendations for the theatre, exhibition and events on Sunday and Monday, films on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and bars and restaurants from Thursday until Saturday.
Ben Cordle, marketing manager at Time Out, said: "London is one of the most dynamic and constantly evolving cities on the planet, where the option of things to do is ever-changing and almost infinite. Jason Cotterrell, country director at CBS Outdoor UK, said "Our XTP format and network already stands out as the only full motion digital display in London, now it can offer even more relevant and exciting content. "This campaign brilliantly utilises the unique dwell time of cross-track advertising, providing these urban consumers something genuinely engaging and useful for them on the busy journeys around the capital."
Broadcasting regulator Ofcom's International Communications Market Report says people in the UK watch more TV online, use the internet on their mobiles more often and play more games on their phones than people in other countries.
The research found over a quarter (27%) of UK internet users said they watched TV online every week – up 3% from the 2010 survey and higher than any of the other countries surveyed. 8 of 10 UK internet users (79%) said they had ordered goods or services online, higher than any other country, and UK internet users were more likely to visit retail websites online than other countries– 89% had done so in 2011.
The study found the proportion of the population owning smartphones nearly doubled in the UK between February 2010 and August 2011, up from 24% to 46% and higher than the other European countries surveyed.
Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom, said: "Across the globe, people are embracing e-commerce and social media with enthusiasm.
2011 was the year 3D took off in UK cinemas with a raft of blockbusters rolling out the format attracting a higher premium in return for a more immersive experience. Although early days still for 3D advertising, next year could be a turning point for brands in this space as research starts to emerge which supports deeper brand recall and engagement. James Stewart, a leading producer of stereoscopic 3D commercials shared data recently showing that audiences exhibiting 92% total recall of a 3D ad, with 68% of that number showing a higher likelihood of following through with a purchase of the product advertised – a significant increase over the same commercial in 2D. Whether this turn out to be the case for mainstream brands and advertisers only time will tell.
EDITED BY THE INSIGHT TEAM