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Getting value for money at Christmas from adverts to short courses

With a continuing cost of living crisis, many Britons are buying fewer and cheaper items this Christmas – especially online. However, when it comes to value for money, you don't have to spend a fortune on marketing to promote your product if you're very creative. With the help of Kelly O'Hanlon, Birmingham City University's Public Relations and Media Course Director, we look at what it takes for a marketing ad to be successful regardless of the budget.

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Getting value for money at Christmas from adverts to short courses

With a continuing cost of living crisis, many Britons are buying fewer and cheaper items this Christmas – especially online. However, when it comes to value for money, you don't have to spend a fortune on marketing to promote your product if you're very creative. With the help of Kelly O'Hanlon, Birmingham City University's Public Relations and Media Course Director, we look at what it takes for a marketing ad to be successful regardless of the budget.

A big marketing budget for your business’s seasonal advert, doesn’t necessarily lead to greater impact. A case in point is the Charlie’s Bar television advert which cost just £700 to make and has since gone viral, showcasing the relationship of an older gentleman with his local pub.

By contrast, this year’s John Lewis festive advert featuring a Christmas tree which turns into a Venus Fly Trap – made by Saatchi & Saatchi and which reputedly cost over £800,000 – has left many viewers underwhelmed. 

So why spend big budgets on Christmas ads?

We asked Kelly O’Hanlon, Birmingham City University’s Course Director in Public Relations and Media who stars on Channel 5’s Greatest Christmas Adverts Ever programme, for her observations.

She said;

“Christmas ads have become a tradition, and so too have the big budgets. The expectations and expense seem to grow each year and retailers are known to splash the cash in an attempt to ensure their commercial success. It is an important season for retail, and for many, a strong festive period will mean financial success for the year as a whole.”

What makes businesses’ Christmas ads successful?

“Creativity is key and household-name brands strive to be the most memorable, planning for months in advance and spending millions in the process.” according to Kelly.

“So, when public consensus around the John Lewis Snapper ad elicited comments like ‘bizarre’ and ‘underwhelming’, chiefs at the prestige retailer were no doubt disappointed. By contrast, the Charlie’s Bar ad received much praise despite its tiny budget, demonstrating that having the deepest pockets on the block is no guarantee for success in the public popularity stakes.”

So what can businesses learn from this?

Primarily, ensure that you understand exactly what you are trying to achieve from your advertising. The most successful marketing material sparks an emotional response that connects the brand with its target audience, regardless of how much money was spent on it.

Attain rapid ROI with new ‘Value Propositions’ short course

When it comes to maximising customer delight in your own business, you also don’t need to spend a lot of money or take a lot of time out.  BCU offers a wide range of short training courses designed and delivered by business specialists to benefit companies of all sizes.

One such course is Value Propositions which starts on January 11th. In just five compact sessions, you will garner fresh thinking on what makes your product or service valuable to your customers, ideas for how to build on your business strengths and how to use these together to wow prospects and existing customers.

Attend Value Propositions in January and start 2024 with a turbo-charge to your company’s sales and marketing. At just £75+VAT for all five sessions, it presents a rare opportunity for rapid return on investment.

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