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Your Guide to Seasonal Advertising Lead Times

Your Guide to Seasonal Advertising Lead Times Thumbnail

Seasonality has long-affected the marketing strategy of many businesses. Planning around key events in the calendar is an easy way of understanding and benefitting from what is trendy, popular and at the forefront of your audience’s mind – the word on the street, so to speak. 

The big question is – when is the right time to launch a seasonal advertising campaign without missing the boat? How far in advance should you plan for seasonal events in order to secure the advertising spots you need? This article should give you some insights. 

The advantage of seasonality

Seasonal events are commercially beneficial to companies of all sizes. Whether it’s Christmas, Easter or the Olympics, most people look forward to these events, and a buzz of excitement is already in the air long before the event arrives. This makes it easy for your company to join in the fun and get your name out there, especially if your product or service has some relevance to the holiday in question. 

Why is timing so important?

It’s no good launching a Halloween-themed campaign for your decorations company on the 30th October. Advertising lead times need to be carefully researched to make sure you plant the seed in your consumers’ minds far enough in advance to make an impact – ensuring you get the digital billboards secured and the marketing strategies in place. This way, you’ll have the time to influence the buying habits of consumers, and build associations between your company and a certain event. 

How do you decide on seasonal lead times?

In other words, how do you get the timing right? 

Here are a few factors that may influence your advertising lead times: 


  • Size of your company: Often, larger companies with a healthy cash flow will book out a year of ad inventory in preparation for a full calendar of events and holidays. Smaller businesses, with a more variable cash flow, may favour flexibility throughout the year, and are not likely to book so far in advance. Even as a smaller business, it’s still wise to pre-plan and maybe outline a few key events or holidays that you’d like to target, even if that’s just to sketch out some ideas. Clear Channel Direct has multiple digital ad platforms located throughout the UK, so there is always a degree of flexibility, even if there is a quick turnaround needed. But it’s still wise to pre-plan as much as possible. 


  • Price tag of your product: The more something costs, the more a customer will mull over a decision. By this logic, if you’re selling a product or service with a higher price tag, you will need to sow a seed earlier on to give your customer enough time to consider a decision. In contrast, lead times are shorter for products with smaller price tags. For example, if you’re a restaurant taking bookings for Valentine’s Day, your lead time may only be a fortnight to a month in advance. If, however, you’re selling romantic Valentine’s getaways to the Alps, you’re looking at lead times of several months, or more. 


  • When are people searching for it? An easy tool to see what the world is searching for is Google Trends. This is a great way to see what search terms are getting popular and when, and these could relate to certain events, seasons and holidays. It may surprise you just how keen some people are to begin planning for certain special occasions. The important thing is to not wait for these searches to peak, and then launch your campaign – by then, you might be too late. Rather, you need to lay the tracks just before it begins to get really popular. 
  • It depends on the event: For most people, Christmas is the biggest event in the UK’s calendar, and families often plan for it several months in advance – whether that’s ordering Christmas dinner, buying presents, or booking a winter break. However, many people approach smaller events such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day with more of a last-minute approach, and may not even think about the approaching day until a week or two beforehand. Watch what other companies are doing, see how they treat each holiday, and also use your own experience of celebrating these events to think about when you, as a consumer, begin to make preparations. From this roughly estimated timeframe, you can then extend this to include a lead time to start sowing seeds in a timely fashion. 




Key events in 2020

It’s important to target holidays and events that are actually relevant to your company. So, if you run a restaurant, then Valentines and Mother’s Day are the perfect holidays to construct a campaign around. Halloween and Back to School? Probably not so much, so make it work for your business. 

Here are some key events in 2020 to be aware of: 

  • Valentine’s Day14th February 
  • Mother’s Day22nd March 
  • Easter Sunday12th April 
  • Summer Holidaysvaries between England, Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland
  • Back to Schoolsee above 
  • Euro 2020starts 12th June, ends 12th July 
  • Father’s Day21st June 
  • Tokyo Olympics 2020starts 24th July, ends 9th August 
  • Halloween31st October 
  • Bonfire Night5th November 
  • Christmas25th December 
  • New Year’s Eve31st December

From these events it might be wise to construct a campaign calendar, filled in with the relevant lead times you’ll need to book in your advertising spaces.


Here at Clear Channel Direct we have the UK’s leading network of digital billboards and advertising spaces. Whether you’re a larger enterprise looking to a book a year of inventory, or a small SME seeking a more flexible approach, we can help. By offering spots in prime positions across the country, you can reach your audience at the right place and the right time. Get in touch to discover more. 

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