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The background

We have a good sense by now of how consumers normally behave around Christmas, but 2020 is shaping up to be a very different year. We’ve undertaken some research with the ITV Village, our online community of c. 9500 ITV viewers, to understand just how COVID-19 might impact their plans.

Here are the key learnings we have uncovered to help you navigate Christmas 2020:

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1. Togetherness will matter more than ever

Excitement for the festive period this year is driven strongly by being with family and together with loved ones.

“It will be about making memories with my family and spending as much time with them as possible” - COVID Christmas Survey 2020 Participant

2. Christmas planning will start earlier

Planning for Christmas this year seems to be moving slightly earlier, with 39% of the ITV Villagers saying they will start before November (compared with 30% in 2019).

3. Consumers are looking for a more traditional Christmas

Tradition will be more important to the ITV Villagers this year than it has in previous years, with Christmas dinner and games being central to the day. It will be a Christmas of reflection and being appreciative of what people have.

4. Personalised gifting will be on trend

Viewers from the ITV Village will be looking to add a personal touch this year - from making their own gifts and decorations, to spending more time on choosing gifts personalised to the recipient.

5. People will spend less but splash out on affordable luxuries

Whilst the amount spent may be lower for many, there will still be a place for little luxuries over Christmas. 71% will purchase a luxury/premium item this year.

6. Christmas shopping will mostly be done online

57% of the ITV Villagers say they will buy most of their gifts online this year.

7. Television will play a more important role 

TV always plays a big role in the festive period, but 41% of ITV Villagers agreed that TV will play a more important role this Christmas. For many, TV will spark discussion, laughter and emotion, whilst for some it will provide much-needed company.

 “Christmas TV is always a special part of celebrations; the old and trusted repeats combined with Christmas specials of new programmes are always part of traditional Christmas with family” - COVID Christmas Survey 2020 Participant

8. Christmas advertising should tell a story

The appetite for Christmas ads is still very much apparent amongst viewers, however they are clear that campaigns should be considerate to the pandemic and its impact on the country. 65% of ITV Villagers agreed that they like Christmas ads that tell a story.

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To explore our full research deck on our audience’s behaviours and attitudes towards Christmas both this year and the past few years, please contact Becky Charles at becky.charles@itv.com.

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