Technology Powers a Happy Christmas

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Christmas survey conducted by JWT London.

Technology will play an instrumental role in helping the UK celebrate Christmas this year. A recent survey by advertising agency JWT London shows that Britons of all ages will be using their gadgets and devices for shopping, entertainment and keeping in touch with loved ones over the Christmas period.

The survey was conducted by JWT’s Business Intelligence department, which tracks trends and insights into the British consumer.

Consumers will be better connected than ever before this festive season with 22% sending greetings via Facebook and 11% instantly uploading photos and clips of the big day to social networks; 14% will send an e-card rather than a traditional Christmas card and 7% plan to tweet Christmas greetings. The over 55s claim to be the keenest Tweeters (9%) and are also more likely to be found Skyping their relatives than the average (15% v 14%).

Younger members of the family could disappear after Christmas lunch to blog (8% of 18-34s plan to write a Christmas post) or possibly hang out in a chatroom; 6% have already decided they will get bored of their family's company and will be catching up with online pals instead.

Online retailers can certainly look forward to a boost in sales, with a massive 59% of adults and even 55% of the 55 and over age group planning to purchase gifts online, demonstrating that Britons of all ages are increasingly reliant on the convenience of e-commerce.

15% (equivalent to 7 million individuals) also plan to order their Christmas groceries online rather than face the annual supermarket aisle bun fight for the last box of mince pies. And more than one in ten will deploy a laptop or tablet in the kitchen for following recipes from the likes of Jamie and Nigella, rather than relying on a traditional cookbook.

Despite an increasing devotion to all things wired, Britons still value the analogue aspects of the season. 60% believe that it’s important to retain Christmas traditions, a figure which rises to a whopping 89% among the 35-54 age group who are more likely to be in the family life stage.

JWT asked the panel which traditions are most important to them and the survey revealed that it’s the shared experiences that are most treasured. Sitting down with all the family for Christmas dinner is the most cherished tradition, chosen by 51%, followed by exchanging presents (39%); 37% love the excitement of decorating the tree and 25% enjoy swapping cards with friends and family.

Marie Stafford, Director of Insight at JWT London, commented:

“We’re embracing new technology and social media like never before, but what strikes me is that it’s not replacing our Christmas traditions but enhancing them or just establishing new ones. In five years, no doubt, the Christmas Skype will be as much a part of the holiday as the tree. What’s certain though is that even if we’re 3D printing our turkey or sporting a web-enabled Christmas jumper, the main focus of Christmas will always be about connecting and spending time with the ones who mean the most to us.”



JWT is the world's best-known marketing communications brand. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network, with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. JWT's parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).

Notes : JWT London polled 300 UK consumers in December 2011


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Joe Thomas