The Winners And Losers In The Christmas TV Ad Battle

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Twitter went into meltdown in November when Alice Tew came up with a simple way to pick your own John Lewis Christmas ad soundtrack. Her methodology was robust – take the song that was number 1 on your 8th birthday and have it sung by the artist who was number 1 on your birthday in 2017.

scfeenshot of alice tew's tweet Christma John Lewis ad

Mine is Heaven is a Place on Earth by Ed Sheeran in case you were wondering. You can work out your own song by visiting the Official Charts site and playing around with the date.

Why did this spend a few days trending on Twitter?

Well, because it’s fun and also because it hints at an issue in the Christmas ad industry… they’re all just a bit formulaic. Old song by a new artist, something to tug at the heart-strings, people coming together and beautiful finish.

There’s probably a site you can plug in a few details and the AI will spit you out a Christmas ad in a 2 mins for a few hundred quid. And if it doesn’t exist, let’s build it.

Often forgotten when you look at the TV ads is the fact they’re not supposed to be works of art. What I mean is they’re not supposed to be admired for their creative genius (although that helps), they’re supposed to make people take an action – in this case, buy something.

The Best Christmas Ads of 2019

With that in mind, it’s difficult to judge who had the best TV ad until they release their figures for the quarter. Even then it’s difficult to attribute how much of that performance was down to the telly.

However, this small issue hasn’t stopped Kantar from ranking the ads and handing out awards for the winners. Their data, shared with Marketing Week, was based on interviews with with almost 3,000 consumers and looked at eight key measures

Those measures were:

  1. Is the ad enjoyable?
  2. How emotional does it make people?
  3. Does it grab people’s attention?
  4. Will people remember the brand?
  5. Will it be immediately motivating in the short-term?
  6. Will it create branded memories?
  7. Does it create warmth and love for the brand?
  8. Does it make the brand feel different to alternatives?
  9. Does it celebrate the joy of Christmas?

I have issues with some of these questions. I’d love to know the exact question they asked to discover if the ad will create branded memories. I’m not entirely sure how good consumers stopped in the street are at predicting the future.

Anyway, leave your concerns at the door and find out who had the best Christmas ad of 2019.

Read the Marketing Week post.

UK christmas ads winners and losers

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