No sooner have the candles been snuffed out on rain soaked pumpkins as Halloween passes us by everyone’s attention switches to Christmas. And if Christmas is coming then so are the advent competitions. For some compers this is an exciting time of year. A time of year to clear your schedule, take the phone off the hook and hide away from anything festive whilst hammering the keyboards entering hundreds and hundreds of advent daily prize draws. For others it’s a time to be a liitle more ponderous and selective whilst some compers now actively avoid the mayhem. As a competition portal in it’s 26th year of curating advents we’ve been pondering our own approach to advent competitions for 2023. Do we aim to list anything and everything or do we do decide to be a little more savvy with our time and energy. To help us decide we looked at data from advent 2022 and were surprised by what we discovered.
How We Worked Things Out
Every advent season we always consider running some post Christmas stats to see what we can learn about how users approach the seasonal listings. Every New Year we completely forget to do this only to remember around November whilst making sure our advent set-up is working. Firstly our stats are based solely on the number of users who used our tracking system (i.e. clicked entered). This means we can’t consider things like users who opted to “thank” as a way of tracking, users who didn’t track and those who visited, bookmarked a link and put us in the poor house by never coming back and looking at a few ads (bah humbug you meanies!). Still we have something to work from and the first interesting thing we found was that web based competitions were the most popular. In fact over 100 web based advents attracted more interest than the first place social media advent which was Wickes on Twitter. Now this could be because of a number of reasons. Social media compers may feel that they don’t need a portal site to operate from, but conversely it could mean that many compers shy away from social media because of fears of bans, high entry numbers and not being keen on sharing, liking and tagging.
Top Advents 2022
So what were the most attractive advent competitions and prize draws of 2022? Topping the tree was Sainsbury’s Magazine who offered 12 days of foodie prizes. They pipped Swarovski although it should be noted that this instant win promotion ran through the entirity of advent. We could probably add some weighting based on days running but we’d be here until Christmas running numbers. Other notable popular comps came from Weird Fish, ITV, Bloom & Wild, Vans, DHL, Currys, Coast Magazine, My Weekly, TUI, Fairfax & Favor (who already have kicked off their 2023 advent promo), Boots Photo and DHL. In terms of prize category there isn’t any obvious pattern. Home, Food, Beauty, Fashion and Christmas, which covers an assortment of things, are the main sections where the top sites appear. Categories that don’t do as well (i.e. attract less user interest) include Days Out (Hits Radio topped that section), Parents & Baby prizes (Baby Magazine and Toddle About aside) and Local Interest (Transport for Manchester was the most popular here). That said things like Sport and Kids prizes did a lot better than expected with sites scattered evenly right through our data. But what about where the advent giveaway is hosted?
Social Media Advents
When we looked at the top advents based on social media platform heading the lists were well known brands such as Wickes, Kwik Fit, Dreams, Bensons for Beds, H Samuel and Furniture Village. Given that Instagram is by far the most popular option for promoters when it comes to advent it was a bit of a surprise to us to see that out of the top 20 most popular social media advents of 2022 that 50% of them were Twitter/X based. Even more surprising was that only one Facebook advent (Dreams Beds) featured in that selection. Going down to the least popular social media advents and it’s Localised comps that dominate. Local Interest comps is a category which limits entrants to area either because a prize needs to be collected or is specific to that place. Of course they’ll attract less interest. However from a comping point of view it does suggest that if you find advents specific to where you live then you’ll have a higher chance of winning. Likewise if you turn your attentions away from well known brands and high ticket prizes. That said not every big name rides high in the charts. Struggling to gain interest according to our data were the likes of Pour Moi, Debenhams, Joe Brown, eBuyers, Gossard, George Foreman and Stabilo. Perhaps George Foreman, Remington and Russell Hobbs would have done better had they stayed as a web based promotion instead of opting for the ease of social media?
So What About Advent 2023?
The data doesn’t really help us make any firm decisions about advents 2023. On one hand we want to provide users with the most popular competitions but also it’s also important to highlight ones where you might have a good chance of winning – i.e. those that are least popular. On the flip side why list the unpopular ones where you have a better chance of winning if no one is interested in the prizes or brand? Is it worth, for example, our time listing an advent for a Bedford estate agents where only a handful of users will be interested. Would anyone really miss it if it wasn’t on our list? Our aim therefore is to go for quality over quantity. As long as we have the main players listed then that’s going to be fine for us. We anticipate there will still be a sizeable number of competitions but maybe not as many as previous years. Of course users – and indeed promoters – are welcome to contribute to advents on Loquax and if those contributions are for lesser well known or localised brands then that’s great. However we won’t be adding them ourselves. Advent is a lot of work for a site like Loquax, but advent comprises usually two decent days – the 1st and 2nd. After that many non-regulars have either copied our list to their own groups, socials or sites and/or bookmarked links so as to not have to visit us for another 12 months.
So When’s The Fun Going To Begin?
For a free site that relies on advertising that’s not good news and so in reality our time is better spent with the day to day listings and our regulars who support us throughout the year (i.e. adding non-advent competitions). Hopefully most people understand that reasoning. If the 1st and 2nd December visitors supported us the other 363 days of the year then that’d make a huge difference to our community. Anyway back to the advents themselves: we will open up the advent lists sometime in the morning of the 1st December. We’re not going to be awake adding comps from midnight as we’ll be in bed. From experience a lot of comps, especially on social media, don’t get announced until after breakfast. Those sites that are organised and have announced their advent intentions hopefully will be already in place. The 1st December this year is a Friday and that could mean some brands won’t actually kick off their campaigns until the 4th. There definitely has been more of a swing towards running 12 days of Christmas promotions and that will most likely occur again this year. Whilst we won’t be taking the weekend off we won’t be spending all weekend adding advents. In short we will be taking a slightly more relaxed approach to proceedings and hope that this inspires you to do the same.