Inside Entertainment: Quick Take 2020 Issue 3

Holiday Movies

The Tradition That Drives Sales

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t the end of the year as the Holidays approach, sharing food and presents trends to be among the first of the traditions that come to mind. Holiday movies are also front and center though, providing the entertainment that fills our screens as we gather. The classics like A Christmas Story and Home Alone certainly pull in huge numbers each and every year but it’s the new stories that do even better. In 2019 Hallmark had more than 85 million holiday movie viewers. Before December 1 they had already aired 16 new holiday movies that averaged 2.9M same day viewers each. At the same time, Lifetime’s “It’s A Wonderful Lifetime” Holiday-movie extravaganza puts 1200 hours of content on the network across ten weeks. Before December 1 in 2019 they premiered 18 films which drew over 1 million viewers a piece. (The Hollywood Reporter) Meanwhile on Netflix, Holiday films like The Knight Before Christmas with 5.8M viewers and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby with 5.5M viewers also premiered to large audiences. (BEN Viewership Tracking Study)

Holiday movies drive the season


85 million holiday movie viewers in 2019


1,200 hours of holiday season content


5.8M viewers of The Knight Before Christmas
Source: The Hollywood Reporter; BEN Viewership Tracking Study

2020 Holiday films have kicked off even earlier and the popularity of these films is moving toward justifying their releases all year round. One in three Americans has already watched a Holiday movie in 2020 saying they’re looking forward to the Holidays more this year than they have ever before. Why is it that we’re so eager to start our Holiday even earlier than usual in 2020? When asked why this is the case, 72% agreed watching Holiday movies brings them comfort. (Tubi)

looking for a little extra cheer in 2020

1 in 3

have already watched a holiday movie this year


are looking forward to the Holidays more this year than ever before


say Holiday movies bring them comfort
Source: Tubi

Brands that capitalize on the year-round interest in Holiday movies have a large opportunity to integrate into the many new titles being produced across broadcast and streaming networks. Those that do can realize measurable sales boosts that come with the association viewers have with their new favorite story.

2019’s Rediscovering Christmas featured the Old El Paso brand and led to immediate sales lifts among targeted demographics. Younger viewers aged 18-34 years old purchased the brand at 24% higher rates than those who did not watch the film. Among the family* demographic, a key focus for the brand, an 11% sales lift was realized compared to non-viewers. (605)

*Target: Families with child(ren) in the household and HHI of $50K+

We continue to see an in- crease in interest from studios and networks to produce a wide range of Holiday films to get viewers in the Holiday spirit. There is no denying their impact and popularity as viewership continues to grow across networks and stream- ing platforms. While these films provide audiences with a blissful escape, part of their power comes from the fact that they are anchored by real life themes, struggles and in many cases, real life brands. Producers find it increasingly important to use real brands whenever they can to add a layer of authenticity to their work. Brands have an incred- ible opportunity to take an audience back in time, relish current traditions or even plant seeds for moments and traditions to come.

— Will Park
BEN Executive Director, Brand Integration


24% sales lift

among consumers ages 18-34

11% sales lift

among family target
Source: 605

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