The nation is split over Christmas, and can’t agree on sustainability either, IPA survey finds

Has Covid-19 turned us into a nation of Scrooges? Assuming we get to Christmas without any more lockdowns, only half (52 per cent) of UK adults say they plan to make the most of the 2021 festive freedoms this year, according to a new IPA survey.

The idea of eating and drinking out more, shopping more and visiting more attractions only appeals to half of us – although thankfully the younger generation have not lost their lust for life, with 72 per cent of 18-24 year olds saying they want to make the most of Christmas 2021.

It’s the same story with sustainability: despite irrefutable evidence of the climate crisis around the world this year, only 56 per cent of 18-24s and only a quarter of over 45s are planning a more sustainable festive season.

Again, we have the young to thank for leading the way, as only a quarter of the over 45s are thinking about the environment – if indeed they were really thinking about Christmas at all at the time the survey was conducted.

When it comes to Christmas advertising, the survey is even more muddled. Only a third of consumers want to see a festive tone from brand communications in this year (not sure what else they want/expect in December). We’ll have to hope that John Lewis will show us the way again.

Amazingly, a whole 15 per cent of people want to see Covid-19 focused ads – who are these people and what kind of question is that to ask people?

Luke Green, IPA insight analyst, said: “While it appears that half of the UK population will be channelling their pent-up excitement into enjoying Christmas 2021, others may still be cautious. What does leap out is that consumers intend to be more sustainable this year. This could be an opportunity for brands and their agencies to think about and communicate their sustainability credentials more this Christmas, while not losing sight of the festive feel. Using less glitter doesn’t mean our ads can’t still sparkle.”

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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