Christmas is usually a focal point for many brands and marketers but this year is far from usual. From drought, bushfires and floods in 2019 to a global pandemic in 2020, Australians have been forced to think differently and re-evaluate what’s important.

So how should marketers plan for such an important season where uncertainty is the norm?

We undertook an extensive cultural investigation – drawing on artificial intelligence semiotic decoding, longitudinal values research, weekly consumer insights and in-depth surveys.

The Project

We set out to understand Australians’ relationship with Christmas through a cultural lens.
From a 2019 Christmas with bushfires, drought and floods to the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 a series of questions needed to be answered.

How has COVID-19 impacted values, attitudes & behaviours in regards to Christmas 2020?

What is more / less important to Australians this year?

And what does this all means for brands?

How we did it

Working in partnership with The Lab, Powered built on a foundation of expert interviews and desk research with AI-led semiotic decoding. We validated these insights as well as findings from The Lab’s Australia Project and their Brand Navigator with quantitative results that draw on Nine’s own audience research panels.

What we found

We identified three key themes that we see gaining momentum for Christmas in 2020.

They may be familiar tropes, but this year they have taken on new meaning.

1

Simplicity in 2020 is not the same as it was in 2019.

2

The Australian way is as much about a connection to nature as it is national identity.

3

Meaningfulness is more important than it ever has been.

Theme One: Simple Things

2020 is a different year – it hasn’t been hectic and fast-paced, but it’s had other stresses. We’ve been deprived of lots of things that are important – seeing people we love, being able to go outside, having trips away, even having financial security.

But through all of that we’ve realised what’s important, and we’ve come through with a renewed appreciation of the simple things.

Theme Two: The Australian Way

If there’s one thing that characterises Australian Christmases, it’s that we like to ‘pick and mix’ ideas and make them our own.

In previous years, there’s been a balancing act – between being locked into traditional Christmas obligations and making room for new rituals or traditions

This year we’ve had to adapt our traditions out of necessity – Easter, Anzac Day, Mother’s Day were different to previous years. And it’s made us think about what’s worth holding onto and what to let go.

So, this year is about continuing to adapt, weighing up the rituals and traditions that make us feel comfortable and connected, and which ones we can let go.

This year more than ever, we are proud to support one another and our economy.

Theme Three: Made More Meaningful

This year there is a renewed push for meaningfulness – it’s taken on more importance than ever, and it’s also taken on new dimensions.

As we’ve seen, this year’s events have again changed our relationship with nature – there’s nothing like being locked inside to give you an appreciation of being outside.

But we’ve also had a lot of time this year to think about what’s meaningful. And for many people, financial uncertainties demand more careful thinking about spending.

Want to create more meaningful connections with your customer this Christmas, register now for a full presentation of Unboxing a Christmas like no other.