Christmas And Ski Queries Start Rising In Late July

Thursday, 19 August 2010 | 17:40

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By Michael Wicks, Industry Analyst

The nights are falling earlier and X-Factor is starting this weekend. This must mean it’s the end of Summer. Surely too early for people to start thinking about Christmas holidays and ski season though?

Well, in a nutshell, no.

Graph 1 shows the seasonality of Christmas-related queries over the past four years, with the purple line representing the average. Christmas queries tend to increase in volume from around week 30 (late July).

However, as queries begin to peak, the average depth (number of ads shown per query, or auction intensity) begins to fall, as is evident in Graph 2. This is a common scenario across a number of categories; when query volume increases this is often because there are more distinct queries and advertisers are slow to take advantage of this.

The story is much the same for ski queries, which also start to rise from late July, rising steadily before peaking in week 2 of the following year (please see Chart 3). Average depth is fairly stable for ski-related queries, with a slight fall towards the end of the ski season.

So, the lesson for advertisers is that they should already be planning their Christmas and ski season activity, to give them a head start before the rush at the end of the year.