12.2020 #4 Christmas – New hope?


The pandemic disrupted our daily lives and social relationships. We are looking for activities, occasions and rituals which can bring back stability – or at least the illusion of one. Can the magic of Christmas – broadcast to us in churches, advertisements or wishes – deliver in the doom and gloom of 2020?
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29% of people don’t believe that ‘this year’s Christmas will provide relief from the stress of the pandemic’. 43% are of a different opinion. 64% trust that ‘this year’s Christmas will allow for a reflection on what has happened to us and the whole world during the past year’.


Christmas and New Year bring an end to what Time magazine has described as ‘The Worst Year Ever’. They will therefore carry a different emotional charge than usual.
Among the emotions we expect to feel during this year’s Christmas, those characterised by negativity or emotional reflexivity are balanced by positive feelings.

Which emotions – according to your predictions – will accompany us during this year’s Christmas? (dominant emotion)

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Wider picture

Christmas combines the religious dimension with secular tradition and, as in the case of all rituals, serves to strengthen our sense of identity and safety.
This year this sense has been dramatically shaken. It is therefore natural to expect that Christmas will fulfil a therapeutic role. Christmas rituals and decorations will remind us about the happy moments from the past, but also – by contrast – make us realise how much we have lost as a result of the pandemic.
To grasp this year’s mood, Christmas marketing should depart from its core set of symbols. The loneliness experienced by old people is part of larger mass alienation brought about by the pandemic. This is something we should talk about.


Paweł Ciacek

What does it mean for your business:

At the beginning of the pandemic, brands departed from sales communication in order to declare their real or moral support for their customers. Later on, brands returned to the business as usual approach.

Currently, pre-Christmas advertising again bombards us with its positive and happy imagery and tone.

But this is not Christmas as usual. To adjust to the mood of this year’s unprecedented Christmas, it is worth focusing on the following motifs:

  • Emphasis on the community aspect (we are in it together) of Christmas: this year we need a new start and renewed hope not only for our families but also for the wider society
  • Local character of the message (we are close), support for local businesses, departure from universal codes
  • Emphasis on quality, not quantity of presents; avoidance of the glamour style (think the ad for Apart!). To put it simply: the same pleasure for less money.

Anna Ruszkiewicz

Z wykształcenia historyk filozofii, z natury nastawiona na dialog organizatorka. Od przeszło dwóch dekad związana z branżą badawczą, z powołania i z wyboru, zawsze po stronie operacyjnej. Przez wiele lat szefowa działów realizacji badań terenowych, najpierw w Ipsos, potem w Kantar Polska.

Dzięki otwartości na „nowe” i wrodzonemu optymizmowi, wspierała wiele trudnych procesów transformacji wewnętrznych, reorganizowała zespoły, łączyła i dzieliła struktury.

Posiadając bogate doświadczenie w realizacji projektów zawsze znajduje rozwiązanie problemów, często zanim się jeszcze pojawią, chętnie odpowiada na pytania, jak coś zrobić lepiej, szybciej, taniej.
Jej celem i ambicją jest tak organizować pracę, aby wspierać rozwój i kreatywność, a także stwarzać unikalne środowisko, w którym praca jest naturalną przyjemnością.

Maciej Kos

Doctor of economic sciences, a long-standing Senior Client Director in Kantar Polska. Before a head of research teams in IQS and Pentor, where he was the author of the cyclic report called. “Raport piwny/ Beer report”.

He specializes in Brand Strategy, Innovation and Customer Experience studies. In his work for numerous companies from various industries and economy sectors, he helps brands create reality and consumer needs, discover new areas and face challenges.

Krzysztof Jodłowski​

Sociologist, an experienced qualitative researcher. A catalyst for ideas, he has a particular talent for making the respondents open up and for drawing out insights.

He specialises in research focused on the study of attitudes and brand image, ad and concept testing, NPD and shopping mechanisms.

His highly informative workshop projects, whether ethnographic, semiotic or exploratory, contribute to changes in the attitudes of marketers towards their own categories, brands and consumers.

Piotr Łukasiewicz

Doctor of Social Sciences, Brand Planning Director and Senior Consultant in Kantar Polska up to 2020, previously Strategy Director in McCann and one of the pioneers of strategic planning in Polish advertising.

He specialises in brand positioning and communication, aimed at making brands fit and keep up with current social and cultural trends. He has been leading the Trendozbiórproject for the past ten years. He runs strategic workshops and develops workshop methodology. He has worked for the biggest Polish and international brands.

A co-founder of the Brand Strategy School at SAR, he lectured at the University of Warsaw and Collegium Civitas.

He has prepared expert opinions for public institutions, among others, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Warsaw City Hall. He is a co-author of Principles for Communicating the Polish Brand adopted by the Council for the Promotion of Poland. He has endeavoured to make a difference as a public official (albeit briefly).

Paweł Ciacek

Sociologist, one of the co-founders of the SMG/KRC Poland Institute, a long-standing Client Service Director in Kantar Polska.

His particular research interests focus on the area of brand strategy and communication. Thanks to his recommendations many Polish and international brands managed to improve their communication.

He co-developed qualitative research methodologies in Kantar Polska (from projection games to ethnographic studies) as well as methods based on non-declarative measurement. 

He takes part in discussions on the condition of the social and market research industry in Poland.

 He readily engages in pro bono activities. He led the formation of Państwomiasto, a city action initiative. He has also cooperated in the creation of campaigns aimed at increasing voter turnout.

He is a co-creator of Trendozbiór, a Kantar product dedicated to the analysis of trends and consumer behaviour.

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