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Unruly and Tremor Video Study Reveals Consumer Expectations Ahead of the 2020 Holiday Season

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Video advertising platforms Unruly and Tremor Video released the results of a joint study that explores consumer attitudes, expectations, and plans ahead of the 2020 holiday season. Unruly and Tremor Video, which are both part of Tremor International, surveyed over 800 US consumers in September 2020 for this study.

Despite the impact that COVID-19 has had on consumers’ lifestyles over the past several months, US consumers are still looking forward to the holiday season – with 64% reporting that they are just as or more excited about the holidays this year. Balancing out optimism with the reality of the changes that have occurred, 42% of consumers think holiday ads should reference COVID-19, while 57% want ads to make them feel happy. While planning holiday advertising campaigns, brands should take special care to celebrate the season while balancing the acknowledgment of the hardships that consumers have faced this year.

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The study takes a closer look at consumer interest and demand for the first holiday season since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the US. The research reveals how consumers are prioritizing and planning their holiday shopping experiences as the colder months approach.

  • 75% plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping online and 53% will increase the frequency of their online shopping
  • 53% will be watching TV more frequently and 58% will be browsing the internet more frequently
  • 41% believe that TV ads are among the most influential media channels in terms of inspiring their holiday purchase decisions
  • 50% plan to do the bulk of their holiday shopping in November

Although shopping attitudes and behaviors have shifted considerably since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, brands can find success by learning to reach consumers at their comfort levels and employing nuanced media plans for the holidays.

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Additional key findings include:

  • 89% of consumers from households that make over $100K per year plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping online, followed by 79% of those from households that make $40K-$100K per year and 67% of those from households that make less than $40K per year
  • Nearly 56% do not plan to travel this holiday season (and increases to 77% for consumers aged 55 or above); however, over 25% intend to travel within their state of residence and nearly 15% are planning out of state travel
  • 50% of consumers under 55 believe that COVID-19 should be referenced in ads

“Online shopping and TV consumption are on the rise this holiday season, and as these channels are increasingly embraced due to continued stay-at-home restrictions, it presents advertisers with an opportunity to more effectively reach new consumer groups through online video and TV,” said Terence Scroope, VP of Insights at Unruly and Tremor Video. “Brands should seize this opportunity to deliver highly-targeted, personalized ads to consumers across all screens, including CTV, in-app, instream, mobile, and desktop.”

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