Young consumers are crazy about the holidays. These stats show just how much they love the season and all its trappings—and how brands are feeding their festive obsession…
Millennials could be the biggest holiday spenders this year—and Ypulse’s winter holiday survey found that 77% say they look forward to shopping sales around the holidays (as well as what they’re hoping to get as gifts). But we also looked at their feelings about the holidays beyond shopping. All signals indicate that Millennials not only love the holidays but are perhaps relishing the season on a new level.
From movies to music to holiday-themed…well, everything, young consumers seem to be amping up over-the-top, unabashed celebration. Take holiday-themed bars as just one example: According to Eater, “Kitschy Christmas bars” are popping up in droves, thanks to Instagram. One entrepreneur’s over-the-top pop-up concept, Miracle, has spread from one bar in 2014 to 90 this holiday season; he partners with bars that are willing to “drench their space with Christmas décor”—the more Instagrammable, the better. One bar’s Santa chair side prop became their main attraction, so this year, the bar’s co-owner says they’re bringing in a “7-foot red velvet Santa throne,” adding, “pretty much [every part of the bar] is going be Instagram-y…That’s just how it is now.” No Santa throne is too big for this generation. Millennials have told us that Christmas is their favorite holiday in the past, but these three stats show just how much they’re loving the season—and all the themed media and products it brings:
1. Over three quarters of 18-36-year-olds like when brands offer holiday-themed packaging/products.
Is there such a thing as too much of a holiday theme? Not according to the majority of young consumers, with 77% of 18-36-year-olds saying they like when brands offer holiday-themed packaging/products. Ugly sweaters (and socks, and hats, and bags, etc.) have become a booming business as what began as a potentially ironic adoption of hideous holiday mom-wear among young consumers has become a tradition, and perhaps even truly loved? Brands have been along for the ride since the beginning, and this year Taco Bell is joining the party with a line of holiday apparel featuring festive imagery like Christmas trees and Santa Claus colliding with the eatery’s fast food favorites. The exclusive collection includes spicy holiday sweaters, loungewear, and even a packet-shaped pillow in cozy materials like fleece—and our data indicates Millennials will snap them up. Beauty advent calendars are another great example of brands making new holiday themed products for young consumers, with the high-end (and high-price tag) Christmas countdown packages selling out regularly.
2. Over half of 18-36-year-olds say they can’t get enough of holiday music and movies
Holiday movies take over the screen even before December 1st these days. (Freeform—formerly ABC Family—has a countdown leading up to their 25 Days of Christmas movie countdown). And the radio switches to carol-mode on Thanksgiving day. But don’t expect young consumers to be annoyed by holiday cheer overload: 52% say they can’t get enough of holiday movies and music. In 2017, Nielsen research indicated that Millennials actually love holiday music more than older generations: 36% of holiday music fans are 18-34-years-old, compared to 31% of 35-54-year-olds and 25% of those 55-and-over. Radio stations see a surge in ratings every time they play holiday tunes, and there’s “more appetite for holiday songs every year,” according to one Nielsen VP. Ypulse’s research shows that young females are especially fueling the festive media frenzy, with 58% of 18-36-year-old females saying they can’t get enough holiday movies and music, compared to 47% of males. Which brings us to…
3. Three in five 18-36-year-olds like watching made-for-TV holiday movies (like those on Hallmark channel or Netflix’s A Christmas Prince)
Like the growth in ugly sweater popularity, Millennials’ love of all things holiday has fostered a boom in another themed industry: made-for-TV holiday movies. Sixty percent of 18-36-year-olds tell us they like watching this content. Whether they’re watching ironically, as mindless comfort-food entertaining, or because the “so bad they’re good” content has become a tradition, cheesy holiday movies are having their heyday, and young consumers are eating them up. The Wall Street Journal reports that over 150 original Hallmark Christmas movies have aired in total, and there are almost 40 new ones coming to Hallmark channels this year. We’ve seen Netflix follow in Hallmark’s saccharine holiday content footsteps. Last year, their original A Christmas Prince proved so popular that they’ve released a sequel for 2018, along with a slew of new originals that follow the same blueprint (girl-meets-boy, holiday hijinks, and preferably some secret royalty thrown in for good measure).
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