‘Tis the Season to Reach Your Audience

It’s that time of year: stores are blasting “Jingle Bells,” streets are lined with seasonal decor, and peppermint mochas are making a comeback.

With the holidays here, consumers are eager to get in the seasonal spirit. And what better way to do that than by cozying up with loved ones to watch a holiday flick?

In fact, watching holiday movies is one of the most common ways that people get in a festive mood. About 92 percent of households watch holiday programming, consuming an average of 20 hours of holiday movies, TV, and music specials each season.1 With this in mind, investing in TV advertising during the holiday season is a can’t-miss opportunity for marketers.

Keep reading to explore why the holiday season is rich with possibilities for reaching viewers with powerful brand messaging.

Screens are Decked with Boughs of Holiday Content

There’s no shortage of holiday content with which advertisers can align their this year. Hallmark Channel’s annual “Countdown to Christmas,” which kicked off on October 21, features all-new holiday movies every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night throughout the season. AMC’s “Best Christmas Ever” programming will be stacked with Christmas classics all day, every day in December, and Freeform’s “25 Days of Christmas” tradition, featuring everything from holiday classics to animation specials, kicks off on the first of December.

The Food Network has a delicious lineup of holiday cooking and baking specials, while USA, TBS, and TNT will air festive favorites like It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story. Those looking to get lost in a holiday romance can tune into the Oprah Winfrey Network’s “OWN For The Holidays,” which will feature two original holiday love stories. With audiences for each type of program representing diverse segments in age, income level, and interest, marketers have the luxury of matching their messaging with the audiences they want to target.

Viewers are Tuning in More than Ever

Research has found that most U.S. households tune into holiday content, especially as the days get shorter and the weather gets chillier. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, there is a 46 percent increase in viewership on the top networks streaming holiday content.2 More than 40 percent of households tune into holiday music specials,1 and families are 15 percent more likely to gather up and watch holiday programming together.3 Even households that watch little to no TV are 51 percent more likely to stream holiday TV during the season of celebrations.2

Holiday Shoppers are Ready to Spend

Despite the fact that inflation is denting budgets and supply chains are still catching up to speed, research shows that consumers are ready to spend (and spend big) this year. The average adult spends more than $1,000 on holiday gifts,4 and they are most likely to spend money on brands to which they feel loyal.5 With rising prices, most people want to spend their hard-earned money on products that they stand by, marking an opportunity for brands to remind consumers why they deserve their trust.

If holiday spending habits in 2022 are anything like last year, toys and electronics will likely see the biggest spike in sales over the holidays. In 2021, the toy industry saw a 5.4x increase in holiday sales over daily pre-holiday sales, and video game sales were 4.5x higher during this period.6 Gift cards and books are likely high on shoppers’ lists, too, as both categories saw 3x as many sales during the 2021 holiday season.6

As consumers shop for the whole family, marketers can expect jewelry, sporting goods, and apparel purchases to start climbing, too. Even furry friends will likely get spoiled: in 2021, pet products saw a 1.6x rise in holiday sales over the pre-holiday period.6

Consumers aren’t just interested in buying gifts, either. Personal care items, home and garden products, and grocery sales also are likely to increase as people prepare and spruce up their homes for their holiday get-togethers.6

So, what does this all mean for advertisers? The holidays are nearly here, and there’s no better time to reach TV viewers – however they choose to watch their favorite content – than during the final months of the year when audiences of all demographics are more likely to be watching, spending, and spreading holiday cheer with the people they love most.

To learn more about holiday viewing habits, download Effectv’s latest infographic, Let It Glow: Holiday Programming Across Screens.


1. Comcast Aggregated Viewership Data. Dates: 11/25/2021 – 12/25/2021, Total HHs.
2. Comcast Aggregated Viewership Data combined with Ad Exposure Data from TV + Effectv Streaming campaigns (11/25/2021 -12/25/2021). Networks include Lifetime, Hallmark, and Freeform.
3. Comcast Aggregated Viewership Data combined with Ad Exposure Data. Dates: 11/25/2021 – 12/25/2021. Targets: Promising Families, Family Union, and Families in Motion Mosaic Lifestyle groups as defined by Experian.
4.  “2022 Holiday Report,” Samba TV, 2022. Based on HarrisX online survey of 2,505 U.S. adults, fielded 8/29/22 – 9/1/22.
5. “Here’s How Inflation is Affecting our Shopping,” Ipsos, 2022. Ipsos Coronavirus Consumer Tracker, fielded May 24 25, 2022 among 1,120 U.S. adults.
6. “Unboxing the 2021 Holiday Shopping Results,” Adobe, 2021. Based on online/ecommerce sales only, increases reflect average daily holiday sales between November-December 2021 compared to average daily sales in September 2021, based on data collected through December 2021.