VCCP Research Predicts January Caution to follow Christmas boost

New report reveals a consumer ‘last hurrah’ mentality before a more 'ration-like' start to the New Year

By Creative Salon

VCCP has revealed in its second VCCP Collaborative report, ‘Winning In The Rebound II’, that after a Christmas boost consumers are expecting something of a January hangover.

This edition follows ‘Winning In The Rebound I’, which aimed to map consumer behaviour as the world ‘opened up’ following the pandemic in the Summer.

‘Winning In The Rebound II’ also takes aim at consumer behaviour, this time analysing the significant psychological shifts in the mood of the nation as Brits enjoyed a summer of staycations, spending and socialising, only to be brought down to the ground with a bump as autumn delivered fuel shortages, energy price increases, supply chain issues, price rises and the Omicron variant. 

In short it paints a mixed picture of the months ahead in terms of spending patterns.

On the one hand, the reveals that consumers have adopted a ‘last hurrah’ mentality, with record breaking spending habits over the Christmas period as consumers opt for family-oriented celebrations and sustainable gifting in lieu of a lacklustre affair last year.

Marie Oldham, executive chair of VCCP Media, said: “People are throwing everything at Christmas this year to make up for the one that we didn’t quite get in 2020.  Each of our audience segments will vary Christmas according to their budget but all are seeking to create a special event, share great food with family and friends and celebrate the small things. The nation is hopeful for a Christmas much more positive than last year and this attitude, coupled with the drive from advertisers for consumers to spend, is resulting in record breaking advertising spends.”

In a bid to benefit from this Christmas spirit, UK advertisers have embraced a return to big-budget broadcast spending.

Christmas advertising launched weeks earlier than usual in November and ITV recently reported 30 per cent inflation on Christmas TV spend this year - this is also shaped by the fact that viewing audiences are down, meaning more advertisers are chasing fewer audiences. The report predicts that this increased spend will continue as Christmas draws closer with investment shifts to tactical spend on radio, in print and search.

This second edition of the report also identifies five distinct consumer tribes: 

  • Revenge Spenders — those who were looking to make up for lost experiences

  • Rationers — those who have surplus money but hold onto it in fear of future austerity

  • Resetters — those who are looking to the future, with purchasing decisions based on sustainability

  • Rewarders — those with not much money but looking to make life enjoyable again

  • Recovering — those struggling before COVID-19 who are now hit by unemployment and reduced future opportunities

However, looking forward to 2022, the report indicates that Brits are likely to adopt ‘ration-like’ attitudes similar to the 1950s to help them navigate a tricky 2022.

This drop in positivity from the heights of summer consumer confidence, will influence many consumers as they pay closer attention to purse strings, delay big ticket investments, and even regret previous ‘pandemic purchases’ too.

Consumers are likely to see caution around car buying, technology and even eating out. Holidays were found to have remained a priority on consumers' “to do” list but this may be hampered by future lockdowns or travel restrictions.


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