Featured in Advertising Week: A Data-Driven Look at This Year’s Holiday Spenders vs. Savers

The article below appeared in Advertising Week. Read it in its entirety here.

Heading into the year-end holidays, worries about the economy are affecting plans. Nearly 30 percent of Americans reported feeling less financially stressed as we progressed through 2023, a feeling that had them spending on big-ticket purchases such as cars or long-awaited vacations. At the same time, Resonate data shows that they are preparing for potential economic challenges by the end of 2023.

Brands and their agencies should take note. Consumers are still spending money, but they are doing so with caution. Aligning messaging and creative with how consumers are feeling about the economy will be essential to driving sales.

The Big Holiday Spenders vs. the Holiday Savers of 2023

This year’s Holiday Spenders (those with gifting budgets over $1,000) and Holiday Savers (budgets under $500) look very different from a demographic standpoint, particularly in predictable areas like age and household income. And while demographics are important, they’re not enough. To form a brand-consumer connection that drives results, you need to go deeper.

Let’s dig into some of the most important distinctions between these two groups that can help marketers differentiate and target their holiday campaigns in meaningful ways.

Holiday Spenders

According to Resonate data, Holiday Spenders are busy and motivated by success. They are working hard to build their careers while being family-oriented and spending time with their loved ones. When it comes to shopping this holiday season, they are comfortable spending money and are willing to pay for quality products that will make their lives easier and help them stay active and healthy. In particular, their holiday wish lists include sports and fitness items; computers, tablets and smartphones; and home improvement products. They prefer products that are more likely to be luxurious, unique, and timesaving.

From a motivation standpoint, marketers should ensure their campaigns targeting Holiday Spenders align with the following:

Top Personal Values:

  • Acquiring wealth and influence
  • Showing abilities to be admired
  • Living a life full of excitement

Driven By:

  • Finding romantic love
  • Exhibiting creativity
  • Proving their competence


  • Going to the movies
  • Sports gambling
  • Going to theme parks

Daily Routine:

  • Being physically active with family
  • Making healthy, home-cooked meals

More than half (58 percent) of Holiday Spenders spend more than 20 hours a week online, and they prefer to watch their favorite streaming networks on their phone. From a social network standpoint, they’re spending their time on Nextdoor, Twitch, and X (formerly Twitter), while their favorite streaming subscriptions are Starz, Hulu (without ads), and Paramount+.

So what might turning these insights into ad creative look like? Well, we know that Holiday Spenders are on the hunt for home improvement goods this holiday season. Because this audience is active on Nextdoor, it is the perfect channel to promote a local franchise like Ace Hardware (one of this segment’s top retailers). The brand might consider targeting Spenders on the app with messaging about how convenient and timesaving shopping at Ace can be.

Holiday Savers

So, on the flip side, what’s motivating Holiday Savers this season? Resonate data shows that this group of consumers is ambitious and driven to succeed. They also are creative, expressive, and want to make a difference in the world. They have a tighter budget for holiday shopping, so they are looking for products that are affordable, sustainable, and align with their values. Their holiday wish lists include bed and bath items; movies, music, and books; and computers, tablets, and smartphones. They tend to prefer products that are more likely to be energy-efficient, sustainably produced, and family friendly.

From a motivation standpoint, marketers should ensure their campaigns targeting Holiday Savers align with the following:

Top Personal Values:

  • Being in charge and directing people
  • Obeying laws
  • Acceptance of those who are different

Driven By:

  • Exhibiting creativity
  • Expressing individuality
  • Proving their competence


  • Arts and crafts
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating healthy, high-protein foods

Daily Routine:

  • Athletic accomplishments
  • Buying and eating nutritious

Holiday Savers use a variety of media platforms to stay informed, entertained, and connected. They use their top social networks (Discord, Twitch, and Snapchat) to chat with friends, stream live video games, and share news and opinions. Their top streaming services include Starz, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu (with ads).

So what might turning these insights into ad creative look like? Well, we know that Holiday Savers are Reebok fans and heavy Snapchat users. The brand could target this audience with a shoe from its vegan collection to appeal to the Saver’s preference of buying sustainable products. The ad’s AR technology could allow this audience to “try on the shoes” where and when they want, appealing to their sense of individuality while giving the brand an innovative edge. 

To win this holiday season with both Spenders and Savers, brands need to fuel their holiday campaigns with comprehensive and continuously updated data. Consumers are constantly evolving and will continue to do so throughout the ever-lengthening holiday season. Now is the time to gain comprehensive insights that help keep pace with consumers across any industry.

Categorized as: News & Press, In the News

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