Once the territory of cheap chocolate and hyperactive children, advent calendars have evolved into something a bit more sophisticated.
Today’s new offerings target a range of ages, interests and wallet sizes with an overwhelming array of calendars tailored to a new adult audience. What a fantastic example of how a classic concept can be revisited to create something fresh and exciting.
From a very modest start a couple of years ago adult interest in advent calendars has exploded to open up a new opportunity for brands, with calendars targeted at devotees of beauty, gardening, tea, crafting and whisky, amongst others.
This new breed of calendar creates an ideal environment for targeted sampling, allowing interested consumers to discover a new favourite artisan gin, candle or beard-grooming product every day throughout December.
Beauty brands in particular are capitalising on this opportunity, with everyone from Marks & Spencer through to Charlotte Tilbury and Liberty getting in on the beauty calendar action with great effect.
Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a December spent struggling whether to prioritise advent calendar chocolate or brushing your teeth during the time-pressed morning routine. Chocolate brands were arguably the first to realise the potential of appealing to an adult audience with a luxury concept and sweet-toothed aficionados now have a huge array of gourmet calendars to choose from.
The simplicity of ‘re-framing’ a child’s product to create something for adults is a large part of the new advent calendars’ charm and success. These alternative calendars appeal to our memories of happy childhood Christmases and, in particular, revisits the sense of anticipation every child feels as they count down to the big day by opening the next door in their calendar. This emotional connection, when mixed with other elements such as the treat-yourself-at-Christmas factor, brand aspiration and the idea that the calendars offer a great deal (25 products for half the normal price = bargain, whether or not you’ll actually use most of them), creates a wining combination.
Love them or hate them, adult advent calendars offer a brilliant example of how a bit of lateral thinking applied to even the most traditional of products can produce brilliant results!