Christmas Content Trends across Europe

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Christmas is a time where families reunite. Yet, this will not be a normal Christmas, families will unite both physically and virtually whilst social encounters are still restricted. As we continue to spend time indoors, premium content will play a larger role than ever over the festive season. So what is the content that our media partners are providing this festive season?

In this unprecedented year, broadcasters are attempting to replicate this feeling of togetherness or air content that the whole family can watch. ITV, for the first time ever, is broadcasting an episode that combines the presenters of Good Morning Britain, This Morning, and Loose Women on Christmas Day. The coming together of these nation’s favourites highlights the communal solidarity that has bound all of us this year. Italian Broadcaster Rai is also showing Christmas concerts, allowing those not able to attend to experience the magic of the event from the safety of their own homes.  Moreover, French broadcaster M6 and Rai will air various Disney films throughout the festive season, such as Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan and Snow White. The beauty and elegance of Disney’s cinematography allows all generations to enjoy the same content.

Another format that united us despite restrictions on social encounters was cooking. After its lockdown success, M6’s Tous en Cuisine is returning the week before Christmas to inspire home cooks nationwide with festive favourites. ITV is also building excitement around Christmas meals but also around travel when consumers can’t do so themselves. Celebrity chefs, Gordon Ramsey, Gino D’Acampo and Fred Sirieix, are embarking on a culinary road trip in search of Santa. Germany’s love for cooking formats has exploded in recent years and their Christmas programming reflects as much. Christmas specials of Grill den Henssler and Kitchen Impossible are set to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, whilst Das Perfekte Dinner is getting three famous couples together for a special Christmas cook off. Whose hopes will go up in flames and who will be the apple of the judges’ eye? This is for you to find out. 

The appetite for contextually specific content is high, which is why our media partners are broadcasting plenty of Christmas programmes over the festive period. Dutch channel, RTL 4, is combining traditional Christmas celebrations with innovative twists on jovial festive games. Sint & Paul Pakken Uit! brings Christmas cheer to families far and near whilst Merry Little Christmas challenges 16 contestants to build the best miniature Christmas village. The broadcaster is also airing two Christmas films a day on its channel RTL 8, giving viewers a healthy dose of all their Christmas classics. VOX in Germany is adapting some of its favourite formats into Christmas Specials; Goodbye Deutschland is documenting what an Irish Christmas is like for Germans living in the Emerald Isle. 

As families are once again huddled in front of the same screen, broadcasters are releasing more entertainment that is appropriate for the whole family. ITV is airing a Britain’s Got Talent Christmas Spectacular that is bringing all the public’s favourite acts from the last 14 years back to the stage. By celebrating successful celebrities from the earliest shows and promoting the brightest emerging talents, viewers can expect heart-warming, feelgood content on Christmas Day. Spanish Broadcaster, Antena 3, is also taking us on a trip down memory lane with Lo Mejor de Cada Casa. Spanish viewers get to reminisce about the channel’s best moments of the year in one action-packed episode on Christmas eve. Moreover, new seasons of The Masked Singer are being released in the UK and the Netherlands in the week after Christmas; the smash-hit Korean format is expected to capture the audience’s imagination once again with its innovative concept. La Voz Senior and Tu Cara me Suena are also gracing Spanish screens over the festive period. Christmas specials for quiz shows have seemingly become an annual staple to celebrate the end of an old year and the start of a new one; this year is no exception. ITV will broadcast The Chase Celebrity Special and Who Wants to be a Millionaire Christmas Special, thereby allowing the consumer to play alongside their favourite celebrities.

If even these shows aren’t quite enough, broadcasters are releasing new formats to peak viewers’ interest. M6 is airing the internationally acclaimed format, Lego Masters, for the first time. In a similar vain to Merry Little Christmas, Lego Masters captures the audience’s creative spirit. Furthermore, ITV is bringing Bird of a Feather back for the first time in 3 years for a new Christmas Special. Laughter is currently needed, and ITV hopes this exclusive release will provide that.

At a time where some of us are locked up at home and trying to connect physically and virtually with our loved ones, broadcasters are providing plenty of content that will entertain the whole family and that will perhaps transport us to a slightly brighter reality. Advertisers are thus presented with the perfect opportunity to reach large audiences composed of different generations simultaneously on all platforms. Over the course of the year, the benefits of staying on air have become clear, Christmas is no time to let up amidst swathes of premium, new content.

Marie Van Den Zande

Marie Van Den Zande

Marketing Portfolio and Content Executive, RTL AdConnect

Marie Van Den Zande has been an International Product and Portfolio Executive at RTL AdConnect since 2018 and specialises in content trends across Europe and internationally.

Prior to this, Marie has had held both Marketing and Sales roles for and the Grand Palais in Paris.

Marie also has a Masters degree in Management and Marketing from the KEDGE Business School.

Marion Bardagi

Marion Bardagi

Marketing Portfolio and Content Executive, RTL AdConnect

Marion Bardagi has been a Marketing Portfolio and Content Executive at RTL AdConnect since 2019 and specialises in RTL Group’s content portfolio and in content trends across Europe and internationally.

Marion was previously International Marketing Product Manager at France Télévisions Publicité.

Marion also has a master’s degree from Ipag Business School in Marketing, Communications and Advertising, specifically in business administration.

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