Give us a break – surely November is too early for Christmas TV ads?

The Halloween masks hadn’t even made it back to the loft. The fireworks had yet to go off when it happened. Yep, Christmas ads started dropping left, right and centre. It started with M&S, although given the furore over that Instagram post, maybe they wish they hadn’t bothered, and was quickly followed by Argos, Freemans, and Asda.

Of course, November has traditionally always been the time when brands start airing their Christmas TV ads but this year there was something a little obscene about them starting on 1st November, when we hadn’t even got bonfire night out of the way. The phrase ‘indecent haste’ springs to mind.

And if brands had actually done their research, they would know a whopping 34% of Britons think it’s acceptable to air Christmas TV ads from the start of December, but only a lowly 14% think it’s okay from the beginning of November.

Having said that, it’s very much down to personal opinion when you think Christmas ads should start to be shown, so in the spirit of being even handed, we take a look at some of the pros and cons of showing ads early.

Start showing Christmas TV ads ASAP!!

There is no doubt the last few years have been hard for all of us, and what with the cost of living crisis, high interest rates, and all the horrors in the news, it’s not surprising we all need a little something to look forward to. And what could be better than Christmas!!

Sparkly lights, roaring fires, delicious food, carol singers, happy children, snow!! Okay, that’s straight from a Christmas ad, but that’s the whole point. Christmas ads give us hope that it really will be the most wonderful time of the year, when we can put our worries behind us and enjoy ourselves surrounded by family, friends and good food and drink.

And sorry, we kind of like the thought behind M&S’s ad this year.

People have accused them of undermining the spirit of Christmas, but the reality is Christmas is a stressful time, often made worse by the fact you spend the whole-time pleasing others and don’t have any time to yourself.  So, we say burn those Christmas cards!

As well as helping build up anticipation around Christmas, showing ads early also allows us to start thinking about the things we want to buy, which means we can start budgeting. Okay, it’s not great, that all packaging now seems to be Christmassy, especially if you aren’t buying it for Christmas, but buying stuff early rather than waiting until last-minute, does allow people to spread the financial burden. And maybe, just maybe, this helps them buy a few bits and bobs they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

And we mustn’t forget the retail industry is still recovering from a difficult few years, so we can’t blame them for wanting to stand out from their competitors and reap the benefits of a longer shopping season.

Give us a break!

While there are lots of positives to Christmas TV advertising starting in early November, we can’t help feeling it’s too much, too soon. Yes, Christmas is great, but we’ve just had Halloween and Bonfire Night, and Black Friday is just around the corner.  We simply don’t need the pressure or stress of having to even think about Christmas or having the little ones (and the big ones, who are we trying to kid!) pester us for a whole 2 months to buy a certain something.

And yes, while it does give us time to budget and plan, we don’t need brands to remind us Christmas is around the corner, especially since they are the ones trying to take our money! In fact, you could argue people end up spending significantly more as they start to stock up now and then buy heaps more nearer the time. And let’s face it, the proliferation of Christmas ads this early on just underlines Christmas is all about consumerism rather than about love, family or, heaven forbid, Jesus.

But maybe the most damaging thing about Christmas ads being shown in early November is they create Christmas fatigue. Christmas is undoubtedly a special time, but when it’s rammed down your throat for a solid two months (and that doesn’t account for the fact Christmas goods seem to have been in the shops since Easter!), somehow it taints its appeal.

Obviously, for many brands advertising early (especially before Black Friday) is a strategic move to capture more market share, but we can’t help thinking that to really stand out

they should have waited until December, given so many companies have already launched their Christmas campaigns. And let’s face it, no matter how good the ad, nobody wants to see it over and over and over again (except possible Excitable Edgar, but that’s just us!)

We just hope this doesn’t herald the sign of things to come, with Christmas ads next year launching before we’ve even got Halloween out of the way or even worse just after Easter!