October 24, 2023 — Daron Sharps
Welcome to a new generation of celebration, driven by shifts in community ties, personal preferences and, of course, budgets. Right in time for the holidays, we decided to dive deep into celebration culture: What’s new, what’s evolving and where people choose to spend. Explore our latest research with GWI and get ideas to reach your audience this holiday season.
How people celebrate gives insight into what’s important to them. And lately, we’ve noticed a big shift in consumer behavior when it comes to planning celebrations.
Because people use Pinterest to find new ideas, we get early insight into what people want to try next. Over time, we’re seeing shifts in the types of searches people make on Pinterest, as well as the topics and products they’re engaging with. Their priorities are shifting—and their shopping habits are shifting too.
We wanted to dig deeper into these changes and what they mean for brands trying to reach people on Pinterest. So we partnered with consumer research platform GWI to explore the evolution of celebrations, and how brands like yours can play a part.
Read on to see top themes from the research, including main reasons to celebrate and how people are budgeting in tighter times. You can also download the full report to get more intel from Pinterest first party data and findings from GWI’s consumer panel.
As you finalize your holiday marketing plans, think about the party guests and hosts you’re most likely to reach, and how your brand can help them create a memorable season.
Here are the top five themes from our research with GWI, plus tips to help you start acting on the insights:1
More than ever people are planning events to express their identity, recognize personal achievements and impress others. These events are motivated by things like social causes and friendships. Think watch parties for sports or cultural moments, or interactive games. Plus, celebrating boosts their moods, so people are leaning into more frequent and less formal occasions.
Act on the insights: Broaden your perspective on why your customers celebrate and make sure your creative reflects these changing attitudes. Use tools like Pinterest Trends to stay ahead of the curve on search behavior and see what’s trending with your audience.
People are investing in themselves with special moments for self-reflection and self-care. This emerging type of celebration is driven by solo individuals marking personal achievements and setting aside space for introspection. Think me-time, via solo outings or small, cozy moments.
Act on the insights: Think about how your brand can serve small moments with a big portion of self-love. For the holiday season, consider what self-gifts look like. From the small (a special drink) to the singular (a bucket list spa day), people will carve out time and budgets to help give themselves a pat on the back.
With financial pressures weighing on the world of celebrations, laid-back vibes are trending up. Smaller, more casual celebrations give people more outlets to relax and escape their everyday stressors—without adding new stress from planning or executing a big event.
These smaller events often focus on building bonds in a specific group of friends or community. Over the holiday season, this could look like more intimate gatherings and celebrations, including more events hosted in the home rather than out of the home.
Act on the insight: Consider what more intimate gatherings look like, such as events hosted at home like a cozy game night or bouquet-making party. Emphasize how your brand can make the celebration more fun, comfortable and relaxed.
These are the most seasonally-driven moments, often centered on community or cultural groups. Hosts are on the lookout for fresh ideas and unusual twists, blending creativity with nostalgia and pride.
Act on the insight: Think ahead on big seasonal moments and start reaching people when they’re just beginning to plan. If you reach people early, you can help shape their plans every step of the way from discovery to action. You can help lighten their load with your products, event planning guides, bundled services and fun holiday kits.
Hosts have a lot to think about—but they don’t have to do it alone. More planners are turning to guests to help co-create the event, from collaborative shopping lists to polls and preference sheets. People are asking others to weigh in creatively, and even contribute financially.
Act on the insight: Highlight the joy of collaborative participation. For instance, if you're an alcohol brand, you could recommend a nice BYOB idea for a cocktail-themed party.
There’s a celebration planned every 3 seconds on Pinterest, with over 14.6 million celebration-related boards created in the past year alone.2 As the season goes on, people move from discovery and inspiration phases into purchasing what they need and bringing projects to life.
Make sure you’re set up to reach both party hosts and party guests as they plan and take action through the holiday season. Start with our holiday guide to learn more about seasonal opportunities and how your brand can reach holiday shoppers across the funnel. You’ll see helpful tips for running seasonal campaigns, and ways to reach eager holiday shoppers.
This post is just a summary of our work with GWI. To dig deeper into these new kinds of celebrations and who’s doing them, read the full report.