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Here Are The Three Ad Categories Set To Surge This Holiday Season.

Hundreds of stations have made the annual flip to all-Christmas music, roads are full of cars with fresh Christmas trees on top, and Black Friday online spending shot up 7.5% this year. As the Boss sang, “You guys know what time of year it is?” According to BIA, this holiday season will see a significant surge in ad spending for three categories.

“The most important change and trend that we have seen develop and deepen during 2023 is the shift in consumer spending from ‘material to ‘experiential,’” says Nicole Ovadia, VP of Forecasting at BIA Advisory Services. Despite inflation, credit card debt is up for the average American household, driven by a post-pandemic desire for memory-making experiences. Says Ovadia, “Consumers are not willing to go into debt for just anything – they want an experience to remember, and they are willing to splurge for it.”

The analysts at BIA see three verticals that are evolving to meet consumers’ experiential needs:


Advertising for this category always spikes during the holidays but this time around the messaging is different and so are the platforms being used to deliver it. Over the top (OTT) and other digital channels are in favor among jewelers as they aim to win over younger consumers. And the trend of greater consumer awareness about the source of products they buy and their impact on the environment is being felt across the jewelry industry, too. Messaging around lab-grown diamonds has shifted from their lower cost to touting them as being “environmentally and humanely” superior to mined diamonds. And that’s resonating with consumers.

Sit-down Restaurants

While consumers are scaling back on the number of times they eat out, they’re spending more per occasion. “This is leading to a much more competitive advertising atmosphere for in-restaurant dining,” Ovadia notes. “If a consumer who used to go out 4 or 5 times a month is now only going out twice a month, restaurants need to compete more heavily to be the destination.”


The “Barbenheimer” phenomenon got patrons back in front of the big screen after the pandemic practically decimated the theater industry. But blockbusters that pack theaters like “Barbie” are in short supply. The Marvels had its worst opening weekend in franchise history. 

Taylor Swift to the rescue! After her Eras tour became the first to gross more than a billion dollars, Time’s 2023 Person of The Year delivered a concert movie that gave AMC its highest single-day ticket sales in history and provided the shared experience consumers are craving. Says Ovadia, “I expect to see others try to copy this model, but success will hinge on the value added to the consumer by sharing this experience with others in a cinema (you can’t trade bracelets with strangers from your couch!)”

The trend of “experience” over “material” is expected to continue in 2024 and verticals will need to continue to evolve, BIA says. “What will it mean for home furnishings when people would rather spend money on a trip to Europe than a new couch?” Ovadia asks. “How can they make buying a lamp compete with skiing in Aspen?”

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