The power of retail occasion-based marketing | Clear Channel
A Father's Day Moonpig Adshel Live campaign

The power of retail occasion-based marketing

Every year in the UK, over 10% of all retail spend can be attributed to just nine key occasions, including Christmas, Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and the summer holidays.  

That represents £33 billion of retail spend every year – a figure which is still growing. It’s clear, then, that occasion-based marketing in retail spaces offers a huge opportunity to advertisers in search of high ROI. The challenge is figuring out how best to target that opportunity. 

In this post, we explain why retail occasions are so important to get right as an advertiser, and how you can use Out of Home (OOH) and Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising channels to maximise your impact. 

How occasions impact retail sales

Retail shoppers spend all year long, but a significant portion of overall purchase interest aligns with key occasions throughout the year.  

We created a Retail Occasions Tracker to highlight just how big an opportunity these occasions offer, using data to show how many expected buyers there are and how much money is expected to be spent during each occasion in 2024: 

Occasion Expected buyers Expected spend
Valentine’s Day 23 million £1 billion
Mother’s Day 29 million £1.59 billion
Easter 36 million £1.7 billion
Father’s Day 27 million £668 million
Summer 31 million £9.01 billion
Back to school 19 million £1.6 billion
Halloween 26 million £422million
Black Friday 28 million £4.38 billion
Christmas 46 million £17.6 billion

These buyers, and by extension their expected spend, are all prime targets for advertising. There is definitive purchase intent, back up by years of data, which can be directed towards your products with the right marketing activities. 

A valentine's Day Toblerone Adshel Live campaign

Targeting retail shoppers during occasions 

Despite the much-discussed rise of online shopping, data from the Office for National Statistics implies that internet sales might have plateaued at around 25% of total retail sales in the UK.  

UK consumers still have a strong connection with physical stores, evidenced by cross-channel retailers like Next claiming their physical stores outstripped online sales.  

These stats make it clear that people are still reliably going out to their local high streets and shopping centres to make purchases, which is likely to be even more true during key retail occasions. Where consumers go, advertising should follow – which makes the case that OOH advertising in retail locations is a valuable opportunity to capture attention that shouldn’t be missed out on. 

Advertising on OOH or DOOH sites on high streets, in shopping centres, and near supermarket entrances puts your brand or product front and centre where consumers’ purchase intent is highest and they’re most susceptible to being influenced towards certain purchasing decisions.  

There’s already a vast network of sites to tap into to capture this opportunity, in the form of Clear Channel’s extensive retail space coverage. We have thousands of traditional and digital advertising sites spread across the UK, covering everything from the pedestrian-level 6-sheet poster Adshel format to the attention-grabbing digital Malls Live XL format.  

That means you can quickly and easily deploy creative campaigns across multiple formats spanning diverse retail environments across the country – offering one of the most compelling ways to target retail shoppers at the busiest times of the year. 

Schweppes Easter campaign displayed on Asda Live digital screens outside the supermarket

OOH occasion-based marketing examples 

The occasion-based marketing possibilities unlocked by the Clear Channel OOH network are practically limitless. Advertisers are free to dream up unique and creative campaigns that take full advantage of the features offered by our digital formats, or to keep things simple.  

Pandora, for example, made use of a digital high street display in a Mother’s Day themed campaign. Their ad combined eye-catching imagery with a strong activation message directing the audience to the nearest store in precise terms. This creative capitalised on the capabilities of the Clear Channel network, leveraging the high degree of ad customisability to make each message relevant to the audience it targets. 

Elsewhere, Gordon’s used a more simplistic, but just as effective, approach in a Valentine’s Day themed OOH campaign, advertising limited-edition bottles of gin on Clear Channel sites positioned strategically outside of supermarkets. The campaign targeted undecided consumers during peak Valentine’s Day shopping periods to put Gordon’s product front-of-mind as they entered the supermarket.  

Make the most of occasion-based marketing with Clear Channel 

Retail occasions are one of the most reliable revenue-generating periods for practically all consumer-serving businesses, and OOH is clearly positioned as one of the best channels to take advantage of the opportunity. 

This year, make sure you’re maximising your marketing ROI by using the Clear Channel network to get the right message to the right people, at the right time and in the right place. Get in touch with us to learn more about getting the most from your OOH campaign.  

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