Why Do Companies Start Holiday Advertising So Early?

Why Do Companies Start Holiday Advertising So Early?

Around mid-October, I was walking around the mall and was constantly reminded that the holiday season is “just around the corner.”  Stores advertising holiday scented candles, decorations, and “early holiday deals.” I even saw the almost-fully-set-up Santa sleigh where kids will wait in line to take pictures with Old Saint Nick and tell him what is on their Christmas list. Remind you…THIS WAS A WEEK BEFORE HALLOWEEN!

Over the years, advertising for the holidays has slowly started to show up both in stores and online earlier and earlier. While everybody likes to poke fun at holiday themed advertising and sales before Halloween has even passed, the reality is that the public doesn’t mind the early Holiday spirit.

Two-thirds of people surveyed in a Bain & Company poll reported few, if any, negative feelings about it. One-third even said that the ads put them in a good mood.

The Logic Behind Early Advertising For Companies

The holiday season is, for many companies and stores, the biggest money-making time period in sales for the entire year. This time period, however, is not limited to November and December as most people might think. While sales certainly do peak after Thanksgiving with Black Friday and throughout the month of December, a large majority of shoppers begin planning their holiday purchases way earlier than the winter months so that they can budget properly and shop for the best possible gifts. Some shoppers even begin their purchases as early as September and October to beat the holiday rush.


According to a 2016 poll from the National Retail Federation, by the end of October, almost half of holiday shoppers had already begun.  The survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, found that about 40% of US internet users ages 18 and up had already begun their holiday shopping by the end of October. Just as many will begin buying gifts this month, with almost 20% waiting until December to begin shopping.

When Do Retailers Think the Holiday Season Starts?


In a survey conducted by Kenshoo, in which they polled hundreds of e-retailers, the question was asked when the holiday season begins. As you can see from the survey, almost half of the retailers polled view the start of the holidays season as October 1st.

Using the same survey, over half of the companies start holiday planning by the end of August. The bigger the company, the earlier they plan.


My father always used to say to me, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.” I guess the same can be applied to holiday shopping and the marketing that goes into it.

The sooner you start, the more you get out of your holiday marketing. It’s important for you and your team to get into the holiday mood as early as possible, build in enough time to plan towards your goals, and execute as soon as consumers are ready to start shopping.



Tyler received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut and has a wide breathe of expertise to help provide internet marketing services for our clients.  Tyler’s expertise lies in the areas of social media strategy and management, content creation, website management and more.  Tyler is an avid golfer, loves anything to do with the UConn Huskies and enjoys traveling.

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