It’s officially the holiday season. What exactly do young consumers want from brands?
It’s the first day of December—and the holidays are in full swing. We told you how brands shouldn’t have to worry about the holiday creep because young consumers have already been excited about celebrating the holidays early. And while this holiday season isn’t quite back to how it was pre-COVID, fewer young consumers say they’re worried about the pandemic impacting their holiday celebrations, meaning they’re feeling slightly more comfortable this time around.
YPulse’s Winter Holiday Plans report explores how young consumers are planning to celebrate the holidays, how much they’re planning to spend, and how brands can help them keep the holiday spirit alive. These three stats highlight exactly what brands can do to make the holiday season extra special for young consumers this year (and in years to come):
Ideas for Virtual Celebrations
Even though young consumers are slowly starting to feel more comfortable about celebrating the winter holidays in-person, more than half (53%) of 13-39-year-olds say they would like help from brands to figure out how to have virtual holiday celebrations this year. Though in-person activities are picking up, there is clearly still an appetite for virtual events. YPulse’s recent Future of Experience trend research found that 58% of 13-39-year-olds are interested in attending virtual events in the next 6 months. Thanks to Fortnite and Roblox, virtual concerts were popular early on in lockdowns—and they aren’t going away anytime soon. Meanwhile, even though data shows that more than half of Millennial parents want their kids to visit Santa in-person this year despite the pandemic, virtual Santa Claus businesses have also been booming—and are expected to throughout this holiday season. Last holiday season, Carter’s teamed up with Cameo to give kids the chance to video chat with Kris Kringle himself—and this year, the video chat platform has a section dedicated entirely to “Santas.” Some companies have also opted to host their holiday parties virtually again this year. According to Thriver, a workplace culture marketplace that helps companies organize holiday parties, 60-70% of holiday parties will be virtual. Facebook is hosting a virtual variety show for the second year, while many companies have sent their employees boxes of food, drink mixes, or crafts ahead of their virtual holiday parties. Meanwhile, some brands and retailers have leaned into virtual shopping experiences to get customers into the holiday spirit to celebrate early and start shopping (especially as shoppable content is all the rage). For instance, Snapchat partnered with Prime Video, Coca-Cola, Hollister, Under Armour, Verizon, and Walmart for a virtual holiday market so users can browse and purchase each brand’s products via their custom virtual stores. Snapchatters can access the experience through the Lens Carousel, and participating brands will use Snap Lenses to help shoppers discover apparel, gift ideas, and holiday discounts. Walmart, which is a top retail brand among young shoppers, collaborated with Twitter for their own holiday livestream events, which included shoppable experiences, concerts, and variety shows featuring musicians like Jason Derulo.
Reboots of Classic Holiday Movies
Sure, holiday classics stir nostalgia in a lot of young viewers, but they’re not opposed to remakes or reboots of them either. Fifty-eight percent of 13-39-year-olds tell us they are interested in modern-day reboots of classic holiday movies. With all of the excitement for the reunions, revivals, and reboots of non-holiday content for TV shows like Gossip Girl, Sex and the City, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and many others—that eagerness has clearly translated to wanting reboots of holiday movies too. This year, some streaming services and cable networks have already answered their calls: Last month, Disney+ released Home Sweet Home Alone, which is a reboot of the classic Macaulay Culkin-led movies, while The CW made a reboot of the classic film The Waltons’ Homecoming, which scored high viewership for the network over the long Thanksgiving weekend. We told you that more than half of young consumers want holiday movies to come out early, while 67% of 13-39-year-olds tell us they like watching made-for-TV holiday movies—so production studios and brands should take that as an indicator that they look forward to any holiday movie including, yes, reboots.
Holiday Food & Decor Ideas on Social
We told you that nearly half of young consumers get gift ideas for others online, so of course they turn to social media for holiday food and decor ideas too. Forty-one percent of 13-39-year-olds say they look for holiday food and decor ideas on social media—and there’s a lot of proof that they’re sharing and watching holiday content, especially on Instagram and TikTok. On Instagram, the hashtag #holidaydecor generates millions of posts, while the same hashtag has received a whopping 3.5 billion views on TikTok. Users are also using the hashtag #TikTokHolidays to share their food and decor ideas too. Last year, we told you that hot cocoa bombs and ornament-shaped boozy drinks were the holiday food and drink trends that took over TikTok—and similar trends are sure to take over their feeds this year too. Meanwhile, the hashtag #holidayrecipes has millions of views, while, which is full of holiday-themed desserts and treats, has garnered 13 billion views. Some brands have already been using their own social platforms to share holiday food and decor inspo: Last month, Meredith Corporation unveiled special holiday programming for their Better Homes & Gardens, Allrecipes, and Real Simple brands, which will feature 30-minute videos featuring hosting tips, recipes, and decorations, and will premiere across all their social channels.
YPulse Business users can access the full Winter Plans behavioral report and data here.
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