Seasonal advertising strategies for retail space | Clear Channel
A  bright orange and pink 'Funkin Cocktail' ad campaign featuring on a Clear Channel Adshel Live screen

Seasonal advertising strategies for retail spaces

Whether it’s seeing pumpkins everywhere during the last two weeks of October, the need to grab your coat every time you walk out the door, or the building excitement for the first barbecue of the summer, there’s no escaping the impact that seasons have on our everyday lives. 

These seasonal shifts and the retail occasions that accompany them offer a unique opportunity for brands to engage their customers with timely and relevant messaging. In this guide to seasonal advertising strategies for retail spaces, we’ll explain how to use seasonal marketing to your advantage and provide examples of brands that have got it right.

What is seasonal marketing?

Seasonal marketing is a technique where brands use seasonal context to make their promotional content more timely and relevant. Seasonal can mean using the literal seasons (e.g. summer or winter), the broader time of year (e.g. the back-to-school season), or seasonal holidays (e.g. Christmas).

Seasonal marketing is particularly important for retailers to consider because of the way consumer goods purchasing patterns (and, by extension, product ranges) change throughout the year. For example, clothing retailers will sell coats in winter but not so much in summer, when demand drops off.

Some seasonal events are already closely tied to consumer activity. For example, the back-to-school period and build-up to Christmas both provide powerful opportunities for retail occasion-based marketing. 

But seasonal marketing doesn’t just mean making use of periods already known for increased retail activity. Brands can still create contextually relevant advertising campaigns for broader seasonal shifts that aren’t focused on a specific occasion – for example, advertising ice-cold beers during a summer heatwave.

Why does seasonal advertising work?

Whether consciously or not, most brands have implemented a seasonal advertising strategy at some point. It’s intuitive to capitalise on seasonal hype, and it’s intuitive for audiences to respond to these types of ads, which is why marketers consistently turn to seasonal advertising. Here are just some of the reasons why it can be so effective.


By tailoring adverts to the current season, brands make their products innately more relevant. And when a product is relevant to the customer’s current needs and experiences, they are more likely to see themselves using it.

Meeting demand

The increase in demand for certain products during different seasons makes it very easy for advertisers to understand where their audiences’ heads are at. It may seem obvious, but by simply drawing attention to these products with seasonal advertising, brands very clearly cut to the chase and show audiences how their needs can be fulfilled.

Emotional connection

The lead-up to seasonal shifts or events is often filled with anticipation and associated with positive emotions like excitement and nostalgia. When advertisers integrate seasonal content into their creative strategies, they’re able to piggyback on this and reflect these emotions onto their brand.

Brand affinity

Seasonal events often have great cultural significance and provide an opportunity to speak to different segments of the population. Creatives that reference these cultural moments can help to create a sense of connection and inclusion, which reinforces brand affinity.

Sense of urgency

Seasons are always changing, and the knowledge that it won’t be long until Christmas has passed, or until summer is over, is a strong driving force behind consumer behaviour. The sense of urgency that this creates can lead audiences to be more decisive when it comes to taking immediate action.

Seasonal marketing ideas and tips

Seasonal marketing campaigns are on the simplest but most effective ways to increase audience engagement. However, knowing what to focus on within your strategy can be difficult, and there are some common pitfalls you’ll need to avoid. 

To help you get started, here are our top seasonal marketing tips and ideas.

1. Make sure it’s relevant

While seasonal messaging has to be relevant to the season, trying to shoehorn in a reference or idea that doesn’t fit with your product or brand is unnatural and will come across as inauthentic. This can then alienate the very audience that you’re trying to connect with – so make sure any creative ideas are truly relevant to your specific business.

2. Pay attention to what sells

Have you noticed in the past that sales of a certain product seem to increase during a specific season? Use these valuable insights to inform your campaign creative – when you already know what sells, you already know what will interest audiences.

3. Stay true to your brand and audience

Cliches and stereotypes can be difficult to avoid in ad copy, but if you’re not sure whether your creative is erring too close to the side of parody, it might be time to head back to the drawing board. Focusing on what your audience needs and how they’re feeling is far more likely to result in a successful campaign than a shaky attempt at humour.

4. Choose locations strategically

Different seasonal events are better suited to certain retail environments. For example, it makes more sense for a jewellery brand to run a Valentine’s Day-themed campaign using shopping centre advertising than it does using supermarket advertising. Thinking about location strategically can increase overall engagement, making your campaign more cost-effective.

5. Use incentives 

One of the biggest benefits of seasonal advertising is that it naturally has a deadline. This makes it easy to introduce buying incentives such as countdown timers and limited-time offers and promotions into your ad messaging. 

Seasonal marketing examples

If you’re looking for further inspiration, these seasonal marketing campaigns will help to get your creative juices flowing.

Asda – Father’s Day

In the lead-up to Father’s Day, Asda used the Asda Live network to run a campaign offering 20% off gift cards. The combination of price savings and closeness to store provided audiences with both convenience and a strong incentive to buy.

Funkin Cocktails – Summer

Funkin Cocktails ran a campaign across key UK cities, capitalising on summer vibes to promote their range of ready-to-drink cocktails. Screens were chosen based on their proximity to supermarkets where the product was stocked. By using high street advertising, the brand cleverly placed themselves in front of people travelling home from work who were looking to unwind.

Karcher – Spring

For many households, the start of spring tends to coincide with a general sprucing up of the garden. Karcher took advantage of this nationwide behavioural shift to promote their range of pressure washers. Their ‘Bring back the wow’ campaign was timely and to the point, delivering audiences what they needed.  

Out of Home (OOH) advertising offers flexibility for brands looking to connect with their audiences in contextually relevant settings throughout the year. Please get in touch to find out more about the medium’s capability for seasonal marketing.

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