How Brands are Advertising for the 2022 Holiday Season

Q&A with Carly Johnson, VP, Group Director of Strategy, NA, Momentum Worldwide

With inflation and consumers having to be more mindful of spend, how is your agency or brand planning to execute holiday ads?

Like most consumers this year, we’re working hard to do more with less. With that in mind, we also recognize that people are balancing the excitement of “normal” holiday gatherings with caution over spending. In our recent proprietary research, we learned that over 90% of Americans are planning to be more cautious with their holiday spending. This natural gravitation toward more essential or even affordable luxury purchases and away from true luxury has us very mindful of our specific consumer’s financial situations and we are marketing accordingly, tailoring our promotional activity to help give them the best of both worlds.


With social media making its way to the top for targeted ads, what platforms are you looking to prioritize this upcoming holiday season?

With TikTok commanding the lion’s share of positive trending Gen-Z attention, and the likes of Facebook and Twitter being seen as negative influences in the space, social media is currently in the hot seat. As we plan our approaches for this year, we won’t rule out consideration of platforms like Pinterest and Instagram as viable ways to reach consumers as they are planning for—and looking for inspiration for—holiday purchases. With Black Friday sales hitting feeds much earlier this year, the space has never been as competitive as it is now for shoppers' attention.


2022 is shaping up to be the first holiday shopping season since the pandemic where consumers will feel comfortable gathering in person. How do you think this will impact marketers’ strategy and their focus on e-commerce?

We’re certainly hearing a lot of optimism around in-person gatherings this holiday shopping season, and it is having an impact on shopping behaviors both in-store and online. Our strategies will be heavily weighed by the category dynamics that exist around our brands and how those specific behaviors may call for change. At minimum, we expect to lean heavily on the convenience factor of e-commerce, especially as it relates to fast-moving, consumable goods. Shoppers are continuing to do their holiday shopping online and we need to be prepared to meet them with the level of convenience they expect. But we’re also keeping a close eye on the in-store shopping experience as shoppers look to physical retail as a way to stay in control of their personal selections and engage in a greater experience than their device can offer.


In response to the ever expanding shopping season, marketers have embraced running holiday campaigns even earlier than usual and are offering holiday specific sales and discounts earlier as well. How should brands prioritize their campaign launch timeline?

Holiday shopping events and saving opportunities have become the expectation of our shoppers and, even more so now, are a necessary aid given the current global economic downturn. Regardless, brands should prepare well and early for the holiday season to ensure they are reaching shoppers at the best time and place. It’s also important to consider demand-driving tactics that prove your value to shoppers who will become quickly overwhelmed with all the noise during this time of year.


Carly Johnson, VP, Director of Strategy, NA, Momentum Worldwide. Carly leads the strategy team for a number of Momentum's Commerce clients. Throughout her eight-year tenure with Momentum, she has built a reputation for developing thoughtful, insight-based strategies for brands like P&G, Coca-Cola, Chobani, Energizer, Bacardi, Constellation brands, Walmart and Samsung.