Over the last week, Advent calendars have been a topic of heated discussion. But even before #chaneladventcalendar accumulated 55.4 million views on TikTok and coverage everywhere from Diet Prada to The New York Times, Advent calendars were creating buzz. Exclusively for Glossy, Launchmetrics ranked the top-five most buzzed-about Advent calendars of the year, through November 30. Launchmetrics‘ ranking is based MIV, a proprietary Launchmetrics metric standing for media impact value. MIV tracks the impact of influencers, print media, celebrities, official third-party partners and a brand’s own media channels. The Jo Malone Advent Calendar came in first place, followed by Charlotte Tilbury’s Beauty Dreams & Secrets Advent Calendar and Mac’s Box of Tricks version. Chanel’s calendar landed in the No. 4 spot.
In case you missed it: Last week, social media was quick to weigh in after TikToker Elise Harmon posted a series of videos unboxing Chanel’s first-ever Advent calendar, which the luxury brand sold for $825. Among included items were branded stickers, an empty dust bag and a string bracelet with a wax seal Chanel logo. After negative comments on the calendar filled the big platforms, Harmon claimed that Chanel had blocked her on TikTok. The brand, while it did not address the actual contents of its Advent calendar, issued a statement to The New York Times, stating that it had never blocked anyone from its TikTok page and that “our followers are free to express their feelings and opinions, whether they are enthusiastic or critical.”
Advent calendars are the best and worst of beauty in 2021: They are optimized by brands for social sharing — whether the reviews are positive or negative — but they also present an environmental burden. Still, for some brands like MAC, Charlotte Tilbury and Dr. Barbara Sturm, they are tradition. They’re part of an annual opportunity for customers and fans to engage with brands and discover new products without committing to full-size purchases.
According to Aida Moudachirou-Rebois, chief marketing officer for MAC Cosmetics, “MAC has been creating Advent calendars for a few years now, as limited editions in limited quantities for the holidays. And every year, we try to delight makeup lovers around the world with 24 days of surprises. The MAC Advent calendar is always one of the most fun to dream up because we approach it as a collector’s item, from [choosing] the packaging to the daily gifts. It is our most coveted — and most expensive — gift of the season, so it has to be big.” And MAC shoppers have come to expect just that, Moudachirou-Rebois said. The calendar is expensive, at $199, but a bargain when compared to Chanel’s. It includes a mix of iconic MAC products, including mini lipsticks in famous shades like Ruby Woo and Lady Danger. There’s also an array of holiday party-ready items like lashes and pigments.
On TikTok, #AdventCalendar has 1.4 billion views. Currently, it’s an official trending term on TikTok, with the landing page for the hashtag stating, “The countdown to Christmas is on! What’s in your Advent calendar?” Unboxing videos of Advent calendars provide a unique content opportunity for brands and influencers alike; one could get people to check back each day to discover what else is inside, if they play it right. Unboxings of brand Advent calendars by Kylie Skin, Dior, Armani, The Body Shop, Kiehl’s and Real Techniques, among others, are all over TikTok.
“Beauty Advent calendars have seen a resurgence in the past few years, because people want something to look forward to, especially during the holidays,” Moudachirou-Rebois said. “It is a little daily dose of fun that reminds us of our childhood but is updated for today. Any makeup lover, no matter their age, can find something they love in each compartment while being entertained and surprised on a daily basis.”