Tag Archives: Iceland Christmas Ad

The psychology of Christmas advertising


What is so special about Christmas that makes people overjoyed? Marketers ask themselves this every winter and the best conclusions result with the top Christmas ads and campaigns.

It’s all about giving

Christmas is an emotional time – memories from childhood floating in our minds and a great desire to bring those moments to life once more.  We feel Christmas joy and we want to share it with others, to please those we love.  Yes – this is why all the Christmas decorations, fairy lights and glittery ornaments hang in shopping windows – to make you feel more emotional. This is what marketing does.

According to the research published by Science  journal, spending money on other people promotes happiness.Therefore, campaigns referring to giving and pleasing others, rather than receiving, have a better chance of success. This John Lewis ad broadcasted last year is an excellent example:

The fact that money will be spent is irrefutable. The real challenge is to convince customers to purchase one product over another. Shannon Webster in her article devoted to holiday shopping psychology claims that there are words that are particularly effective in motivating people to purchase when used in promotional materials around the festive period. Words that “generate sales include: sale, limited edition, hot, collectible, shortage, delayed, must-have, and in-demand”.

Santa, Rudolph and Christmas trees

William M. O’Barr in his article “Advertising and Christmas” claims that Christmas arouses nostalgia for traditional celebrations; the closer to Xmas, the more sentimental people become. Nothing fans those feelings better than an image of Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Christmas trees. Choose an object, add a little bit of snow falling from the sky, colorful Christmas lights and ornaments, a sound of jingling bells and a dash of humor – you’ve got the perfect ad. This Apple TV ad is an accurate example:


“All I want for Christmas is… you”

Afterall, the essence of Christmas is not something wrapped in red ribbon. Our family, friends, those we love – that is what really matters. We look forward to bonding with family and that fills us with hope and cheer. That is why family-focused advertisements evoke nostalgia in our hearts. At the end of the day, all we want for Christmas is them.


The deeper marketers get into our brains – learning about our needs, desires and habits – the better campaigns they create. Ads that get into our hearts – make us cry, laugh or give us goose bumps – are made by marketers who knows us best