Luxury advent calendars, has the trend gone too far?

The 1st December is almost here and with it comes the excitement of counting down to Christmas. For many people (big and small) the lead up to the 25th includes opening a door on an advent calendar each day to enjoy a delicious square of chocolate. However, as the demand for luxury advent calendars continues, some will be enjoying a new eyeshadow, a piece of cheese, or possibly even a pork scratching!

We first noticed a few brands had started to release luxury calendars last year. A handful of high-street names including Top Shop and Selfridges released adult themed calendars, so that parents could join in the fun with a few mature treats of their own. However, this year a larger number of brands have jumped on the trend and as a result we’re seeing a multitude of high-end and expensive calendars appear on shelves and online.

From miniature bottles of gin, prosecco and wine to chocolate truffles that look like sprouts and expensive candles or even pasties and sausage rolls. Many of these new adult themed calendars contain expensive items such as perfume or alcohol. Jo Malone’s costs £300, and a 'very old and rare whisky' calendar from Master of Malt retails for a whopping £9,999.95.

It seems the possibilities of what can be included in an advent calendar (and the cost) is endless, but is it time to say enough is enough?

Last month it was it was reported that hundreds of people queued for hours to buy a £175 calendar from Liberty, the beauty brand. The calendar is said to contain products that if purchased separately would cost approximately £500. This was the fastest selling product in the brand’s 140 year history.

John Lewis has reported that it is selling 48% more advent calendars than last year, with the growth driven by demand from both children and adults. This includes offerings from brands such as Lego, Play Mobil and Edinburgh Gin.

However, although the figures showcase that the demand is there and some brands have seemingly got their offering right, others have failed. YouTube star Zoella, released a £50 calendar that has been slammed by parents.

The calendar, which was scooped up by teenagers up and down the country, only features 12 doors and the items behind each have been described by some as ‘tat’ and a ‘rip-off’. The press and social media sentiment has been predominantly negative and as such the star has come out to apologise and state that she wasn’t responsible for the price tag and retailer Boots has slashed the price to £25.

Others have unwittingly caused upset with their products. Greggs had to apologise recently for replacing baby Jesus with a sausage roll in a manger in one of its photos which was publicising an advent calendar, filled with tokens to be swapped for baked savoury goods.

Christmas is and always will be a battle for brands and PR companies to gain coverage of their products, therefore they will continually come up with new and innovative ways to sell their products. In addition, while ever there is a demand for advent calendars, retailers are set to theme them up to meet target customers’ needs. So for the time being it looks like the season of luxury advent is here to stay, but the big question is – what will they think of next?

What are your thoughts on this latest trend? Let us know, by tweeting us @DragonflyPRUK or posting on the Dragonfly PR Facebook  or LinkedIn pages.   And, if you need help with planning your Public Relations or Social Media campaign for 2018, please get in touch: tel 01709 300130 or email

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