Three out of four people think brands should not produce their usual style of Christmas campaigns this year and activity should focus on real people, new research suggests.
A survey of 2,000 adults has found that 63% agree brands should not spend money on big, lavish Christmas ads this year, as big-budget "blockbusters" fall out of favour in the Covid-19 era.
The survey, by OnePoll and production company Truman Films, found that one-third of consumers said they would feel less positive about a brand that spends a lot of money on Christmas TV ads considering the impact of the pandemic.
Asked about the style of advertising they would like to see, respondents signalled a preference for real stories and a move away from scripted, fictional characters. Just 8% of people thought brands should cast actors over people telling their own stories.
The survey also found that 36% of consumers think that most Christmas campaigns are overrated, suggesting there is room for brands to rethink their approach.
Jeremy Ervine, executive producer at Truman films, said: “What we have seen in this survey is a shift towards consumers craving real-life, authentic content. It is clear that people want to be moved through emotion, humour or heart-warming content this Christmas in light of Covid-19.
“With the survey finding that 73% of people think brands should not produce their usual seasonal festive ads this year, marketers may want to steer clear of the Hollywood-style epics that we have come to expect in Christmas advertising."
The study, involving "adults who celebrate Christmas", was conducted on 17 July.