Running successful Christmas Promotions

We recently ran the latest in our series of Be in the Know Breakfast Briefings all about Christmas Promotions. For those of you who may have missed it here’s a recap of what we covered.

Running authentic, festive Christmas promotions are great for building excitement before the rush and engaging consumers to actively become a part of a campaign and involve family and friends. However, without complying with the rules and avoiding planning and management, Christmas promotions can become the topic of ASA conversation and cause consumer cynicism and affect brand reputation.


  • Last year the UK spent £19 billion on Christmas
  • The average British family spends £821.25 on Christmas
  • Average single Adult spends £390.56
  • The UK will eat more than 2.2 billion mince pies, 308 million slices of Turkey and pull 154 million crackers

Some of your options as a brand

  • Advent calendar – Daily Prize Draw with/without purchase
  • Advent calendar – Instant win with purchase
  • Christmas themed Competition
  • Christmas themed regular Prize draw
  • Social Media – simply like or post a festive comment, your New Year’s Resolution
  • Personalistation – On Packs
  • Experiential Marketing
  • Create a Christmas Product competition

What do consumers like at Christmas? All feedback below is from Professional Comper Di Coke

  • 85% enter competitions to win Christmas gifts for family and friends
  • 36% said they enter as many daily advent comps as they can during December – 65% prefer a daily prize draw to an instant win
  • 70% said they enjoy entering creative photo competitions at Christmas
  • Favourite prizes to be won in Christmas competitions are: Gift vouchers, Cash, Luxury hampers, Kids Toys, Christmas related trips (Lapland)
  • 38% of consumers like to see Christmas promotions launch in November / 30% prefer October
  • Unique Christmas creative challengers are favoured along with Christmas Competitions that close in November or early December
  • Purchase necessary promotions on suitable Christmas gifts are liked as well as clearly stated terms and conditions always!

What consumers do not like

  • Being asked why they deserve to win
  • Prizes which are promised to arrive in time for Christmas, but do not
  • Prizes that are discount codes
  • Daily advent competitions that close at 5pm

Don’t forget the CAP Code…

  • Over 4,000 ads stopped or amended
  • 72% regarding misleading content
  • 61 major complaints about Xmas campaigns
  • Take care linking alcohol with celebration
  • Be careful with religious themes
  • Avoid adult humour in untargeted ads

Top Tips

  • Plan Early
  • Reward Most Number of Consumers
  • Excellent, exclusive and relevant Ideas
  • Select the right prize
  • Embrace product change
  • kNow the Rules – no Christmas Nightmares
  • Time it right





  • Planning – start now, especially if you are planning an overseas promotion
  • Decent T&Cs are essential to avoid abuse
  • Make sure your Xmas On-pack promotion isn’t still knocking about long after Christmas
  • Run your promotion in January when its quiet and excitement factor is low
  • Make it easy to enter
  • Drive sales – include a repeat purchase mechanic
  • Coordinate your social media carefully
  • Encourage repeat entries and clicks with social promotions
  • Sharing is caring
  • Align your prizes with your brand
  • Value of prizes is not the only thing – but it can be!
  • Build excitement – lower value/high frequency prizes and high value star prize
  • Select prizes carefully – they don’t have to be high value but of value!

For help with your Christmas promotion contact