As summer draws to a close, it is time to start thinking about prospecting brands that will be looking to target customers over the Christmas period. This will be an especially difficult year for those hoping to stand out from the competition as Christmas shoppers are faced with the cost-of-living crisis and will be thinking of either cutting back on their usual gift budget or looking more closely at the value proposition of what they purchase, taking into consideration things like quality, durability, sustainability and ethics. However, brands will have the opportunity to create brand loyalty and to entice shoppers with deals and other benefits.

Consumers will be viewing this Christmas as the first in two years with no Covid-related restrictions and fewer pandemic-fuelled worries. This suggests they will aim to make this Christmas worthwhile and continue to treat themselves to luxuries where they can.

According to the eBay Ads UK’s latest Christmas Spend Trends research report, consumers will be prioritising value for money and thoughtful gifting this festive season.

The research found that 32% are planning to start their Christmas shopping earlier than last year.

‘Over half (56%) plan to buy thoughtful gifts for friends and family this year. Meanwhile, 30% say they plan to buy functional gifts and almost a quarter (23%) will buy essential items for presents, suggesting a preference for purchasing gifts that are useful at a time when many Brits are struggling to afford everyday items.’

Thoughtful gifts could include personalised, artisan and handmade items as well as books and framed photos and prints. Functional gifts could include things for the enjoyment of consumption such as food & drink, as well as household items such as kitchenware and stationery. Meanwhile, in light of the current energy crisis, essential items could include warm clothing, hot water bottles and energy efficient household electronics; or a gift card in order for the recipient to purchase what they really need.

Ebay’s research also found that: ‘29% of Brits are planning to spend less on Christmas this year, with 31% planning to buy fewer gifts. 24% intend to spend less on Christmas celebration items such as food, decorations and parties.’

Here are 18 brands which could advertise ahead of Christmas 2022 and the reasons why:

Food & Drink

Wine brand Concha Y Toro hired Aduro Communications to handle its representation in August. The agency will help launch its new Diablo wine range which started back in 2018 with Diablo Dark Red. The Diablo Black Cabernet Sauvignon joined in 2020, and both Golden Chardonnay and Crystal Sauvignon Blanc in August 2022. The range’s first above-the-line campaign is due to launch in September.

Concha Y Toro’s revenue rose by 7% in H1 compared to the same half in 2021. The business generates 25% of its revenue from the UK and half of its revenue is from its premium category which has been the focus of its five-year 2022 strategic plan. The company has aimed for sales of value over volume.

Announcing its results, the business said it had ‘continued to invest in marketing to maintain the strength of its brands among consumers and is also making the largest investment in its history (around Ch$80 billion) in estates, wine cellars and plants in order to sustain future growth with capacity and productivity.’

Concha Y Toro increased its prices last year, and again in 2022. Casillero Del Diablo is its most prominent brand in the UK and the business spent most of its advertising budget promoting it in Q4 last year (£1.2m).

Halewood Artisanal Spirits, owner of Whitley Neill gin, JJ Whitley vodka, Dead Man’s Fingers rum and Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer, named a new Managing Director in August tasked with driving the business forward. Like Concha Y Toro, Halewood is moving away from high volume, low-margin sales to focus on its premium artisanal spirits.

Both the Whitley and Dead Man’s Fingers brands brought out ready-to-drink cans over the summer. Dead Man’s Fingers also launched a tequila product and a duo of cream liqueurs earlier this year. The rum brand was very active last Christmas as it rolled out a limited-edition festive variant of its rum, as well as a rum advent calendar and Christmas crackers. The fast-growing brand has been partnering with rock magazine Kerrang on various content, including a ‘Not So Silent Nights’ festive playlist last Christmas.

Border Biscuits unveiled a bold new identity earlier this year with the aim to become the UK’s most ‘accessible premium’ biscuit brand. The brand, which is already the UK’s number one premium biscuit brand in the out-of-home channel and in Scotland, has introduced new flavours to its range including dark chocolate orange and dark chocolate raspberry.

Border Biscuits hired Haygarth to deliver a campaign across press, OOH, digital and social in May and June, showcasing its new brand. The biscuit maker has an opportunity to attract UK shoppers looking for food gifts or to add something special to their Christmas hosting this festive season. Consumers may also look to treat themselves with premium products at home as the cost-of-living crisis sees people retreat from eating out occasions.


Very’s sales rose by 22% over last year’s festive period and the business will no doubt be looking to repeat these results this year. It will want to invest in marketing and perform well over the Christmas period as it is reported to eye an IPO for mid-2023.

Very’s has launched several new products this year, expanding its beauty and wellbeing offering and recently introducing its Everyday Collection - fashion and homeware items at value prices. It is also looking to bolster its digital position. A new Group CEO joins in September and a new CMO in October: they will be looking to make their mark on the business.

Etsy’s 2021 Christmas campaign was ahead of this year’s trend as it encouraged people to shop ‘with meaning’ in its ‘Give more than a gift’ campaign. The online marketplace for handmade goods will be a good option for people looking to support small businesses and make a more purposeful purchase this festive season.

Notonthehighstreet, which was last year acquired by US-based growth equity firm Great Hill Partners, has a new CEO joining in September. The business also recently hired New Commercial Arts to oversee its creative and customer experience account as it plans to launch its new strategy, communications and brand identity this autumn. As another place to buy meaningful and personalised gifts, Notonthehighstreet will want to get in front of customers this season.

M&S has seen a reshuffle of its leadership team this year with new co-CEOs joining the business. The retailer has been focussing on its third-party brands strategy, meaning more variety to attract shoppers this season. It has also promoted its Remarksable range which could be highlighted as part of its Christmas marketing as consumers search for value this year. As a department store, M&S can meet the demand for a variety of functional and essential gifting needs.

Toys & Games

Melissa & Doug, the children’s toymaker, produces screen-free, wooden and sustainable toys which will appeal to those looking to spoil their pre-school loved ones this Christmas, but without the ‘plastic guilt’ that comes with many of these purchases. The brand has recently launched a new 16-strong range of functional toys to aid the developmental growth of infants and toddlers.

Melissa & Doug opened a new, environmentally friendly distribution facility this summer, which will allow it to increase the number of items it can ship fivefold. A new sales director for Northern Europe joined the business in the UK office earlier this year to help boost the brand’s growth in the region.

Tonies manufactures screen-free sound boxes for kids, which are activated when placing a toy on top. The boxes can play either music, stories, or recordings left by family and friends. The brand’s new TV ad, which launched in August, aims to show how toys can bring a moment of happiness to kids, parents and carers. Tonies has entered plenty of new partnerships this year including licenses with Peppa Pig, Pinocchio, PJ Masks, CoComelon and Dr McStuffins. It has also introduced accessories such as shelving units and a car organiser to help store its toys during road trips.

Earlier this year it partnered with Mermaids, a charity which has been supporting transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children, young people and their families, to launch Pride Tales narrated by Strictly’s Johannes Radebe to help educate children on diversity and inclusion. This business is committed to helping ‘little listeners become familiar with different cultures and ways of life through audio content’.

Tonies named a new agency partner in August to handle its press office.

Luxury Goods

Pandora will see its new CMO join from Unilever this autumn. The new hire is tasked with driving brand desirability and growth, and will no doubt want to make their mark during the Christmas shopping season. Pandora jewellery, which has long been popular for gift-giving occasions, has moved to using more sustainable and ethical lab grown diamonds and pledged to use recycled silver and gold in its products. Lab-grown diamonds also give Pandora a price advantage, meaning it can attract more people across different income levels. It has also reduced plastic in its packaging. This is a brand which is getting its ESG credentials in order and could appeal to those looking to make a more purposeful gift this year.

Q4 is traditionally when Pandora spends the most on advertising. The business invested £9.7m in Q4 last year. In an interview with Professional Jeweller in February, Pandora’s UK MD suggested that over the next few years, the business will be putting time and money into personalisation in terms of analytics and custom marketing. He also noted that social media and influencer campaigns will be part of its focus.

Watchfinder, the second-hand luxury watch retailer owned by Richemont, last month appointed a new PR agency to ‘increase share of voice for the category creator and market leader amid a slew of new players in this category, one that is expected to be worth £22bn by 2025’. One such new player is Philadelphia-based WatchBox which is specifically competing with Watchfinder’s YouTube following. Watchfinder was the first major content creator for the watch world and has over 800,000 subscribers on YouTube, while WatchBox has over 136,000 and is producing multiple high quality short films for its audience each week. WatchBox is also planning to enter the UK market, Watchfinder’s home market, in the coming months.

Though still a luxury price-tag for many, Watchfinder offers a more affordable and more environmentally-friendly luxury watch purchase. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Watchfinder is likely to advertise over the festive season, particularly as it fights to retain its market share.

Cosmetics & Toiletries

UK skincare company The Inkey List recently named a new head of global marketing. The brand, which has become known for its ‘knowledge-powered’ skincare products, received a significant minority investment earlier this year and plans to use it to ‘further its rapid global growth and to continue making skincare solutions more accessible to consumers’.

The Inkey List launched in 2018 and has grown by 600% in three years. The ‘skin science’ business has also been backed by Unilever Ventures. Its products, including the popular Salicylic Acid Cleanser (£10.99) and Hyaluronic Acid serum (£5.99), are sold on its own website as well as in Boots, Sephora and on The brand has a big focus on education and offers expert advice on skin, hair and scalp via its 24/7/365 askINKEY service.

The company has spent over £1m on advertising so far this year, almost entirely on outdoor campaigns. In March, it launched its first pop-up retail experience in Covent Garden to help engage customers face to face.

Trinny London has rolled out several new products this year, including its new skincare line with cleansers, exfoliants, moisturisers and makeup brushes; and most recently its Lip2Cheek shade.

Trinny spent almost £1m on advertising in Q4 2021. With its recent plethora of new launches, Christmas will be an ideal time to introduce new customers to the brand. In previous festive seasons it launched several gift sets. Trinny targets its products at over 35s but has reportedly gained customers of all ages.

Cosmetics brand Charlotte Tilbury appointed a new CMO in May and has since made several changes in its marketing team, suggesting it could spend more than the £1.8m it spent in Q4 2021. In August, it unveiled its first store outside London at Liverpool ONE. In September, it unveiled its latest product launches: the Beauty Skin Radiant Concealer and Airbrush Brightening Powder.

Charlotte Tilbury is another brand providing more than just make up products. Its website offers virtual try on and consultants, masterclasses and events. The brand also has recycling and refilling options.

Paula’s Choice is a skincare brand which was acquired by Unilever last year and became part of the Unilever Prestige portfolio. It was described as a ‘direct-to-consumer powerhouse and one of the most successful brands in US beauty retailer Sephora’. In June, Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant was named as one of TikTok’s most influential beauty brands. Working on its sustainability credentials, the business is aiming for net zero emissions by 2030.

Paula’s Choice recently unveiled its Phytoestrogen Elasticity Renewal Serum to help combat signs of aging in the neck and face. It named a new PR agency in August, suggesting it wants to increase its brand awareness.


Age UK is currently reviewing its creative account and is due to announce a new agency partner in October at which time it will gain a new CEO who is moving over from the same position at Mind. The charity is expected to advertise over the Christmas period as elderly people are more likely to spend the holiday alone. It has historically always spent the bulk of its annual advertising budget in Q4.

This winter will be particularly difficult for many older people because of the current energy crisis. The charity will likely advertise to show how it is supporting them and aim to increase engagement and donations.

Crisis’ new Christmas campaign was created by a new agency appointed this summer. In February, the charity awarded its media planning & buying strategy account to The Kite Factory. It has suggested that 1.7 million households could end up being homeless this winter due to surging energy bills. Like Age UK, Q4 is always Crisis’ biggest quarter for advertising investment. In Q4 2021 the charity spent £7m.

Citizens Advice is another charity that is currently under pressure and in need of support. The confidential advice provider recently named a head of brand and marketing, signalling it could call an agency review or implement a new marketing strategy in the coming months. The charitable organisation collects regular donations and encourages people to leave a legacy gift. It has outlined its 2019-2022 framework, which suggests it is likely to be working on its strategic plan for the coming few years and setting its marketing budget.

By Natalie Fedden - Content Manager, ALF


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