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10 December 2012

All They Want For Christmas – Is Brands

Keywords: Christmas, brands, games, kids, preschoolers, Western Europe, consumer behavior, content analysis, wish lists,

Christmas… For adults marked by social gathering, for children more often dominated by getting lots of presents from Santa. Are our children happy with each present they get? Or are they in fact little monsters who know exactly what they want and how much they want? A Young Consumers study examined over 300 letters written by UK children to Santa Claus, to find out what Christmas presents actually mean to them. 

Take aways

  • Most children know exactly what they want for Christmas. 
  • Brands are very important to children and therefore they are on almost every child’s Christmas list.

Study information

  • The question?

    What do Christmas gifts actually mean to children?

  • Who?

    314 letters written by British children, that were sent to Santa Claus

  • Where?

    The letters were written by UK children. Analysis of the content of the letters happened in Finland.

  • How?

    The researchers obtained 314 letters from children addressed to Santa Claus. The researchers analyzed all letters, and then divided the letters into different groups.

Facts and findings

  • When asking for Christmas gifts children attached great value to the brand of the gift (i.e. children were very much brand-oriented in their requests).
  • 77,4% of all letters written to Santa Claus contained brand names.
  • Boys (83,3%) were more brand-oriented than girls (72,7%). 
  • Children asked on average 5 gifts (per kid) from Santa Claus.
  • Most children (202 letters) knew exactly what they wanted from Santa. Requests were mostly very detailed, sometimes even mentioning price, color or the page number in a toy catalogue.
  • 65 letters contained only one or two wishes. Letters with one gift were mostly written by preschool kids.
  • 21 children were wishing things that were very imaginative. These children were asking to be somebody (e.g. a superhero) or having something (e.g. a real car) that was not even possible. Imaginative letters were mostly written by girls.
  • 13 children did not ask for anything specific, but wanted to be surprised by Santa Claus. 
  • Another 13 children were asking things that were not for themselves, but for family or pets.