It is only just the start of December, but the Christmas campaigns are back in full flight....and boy do we love this early Christmas gift! This Christmas Season we have interviewed over 5000 people across Australia, the US and the UK with our Ad Intelligence platform add+impact. We wanted to know what consumers are expecting from brands this Christmas and importantly which campaigns are nailing it.
With our first Christmas out of COVID lockdowns and now heading towards an impending global recession, we're expecting this season to be like no other. Amid global economic uncertainties the usual celebrations will look different for many this year which brings additional challenges for brands.
We found that around one third are planning to spend less this year and many have already made cuts to spending especially on fuel, energy and food. However, the majority are planning to celebrate as usual this festive season which makes it especially competitive for retailers this year. How can brands make sure their ads convey the right message and right tone for these times?
One of the standout findings from our research is the overwhelming agreement across all three markets that people feel positive towards brands that show they support the community.
We have already looked at 38 ads from big brands like John Lewis, Myer, Target, Aldi and Walmart. The ads with a heartfelt narrative and a strong community connection did very well. The John Lewis ad ‘The Beginner’ attracts the most attention of all the ads we tested. Built around the retailers support for the future of young people of care, the ad tells the emotional story of the great lengths a foster father goes to. The ad is a genuine tear-jerker and made even more compelling with a great soundtrack and brilliant casting.
Marks and Spencer’s ‘Gifts that Give’ also shows compassion and generates positive feelings for the retailer by showcasing it’s support for local communities via the partnership with the Neighbourly Foundation. The ad clearly communicates this support and positions the retailer as a meaningful destination for gifts which is relevant and persuasive for consumers this year. Overall, however, the ad is less engaging than ‘The Beginner’ and will be less likely to cut-through
Another popular and effective way to engage is to delight and entertain the audience to spread the joy this season. This year we see some awesome ads that are achieving this – everything from animated stories to classic Hollywood style big screen extravaganzas. Australia Post’s animated beauty ‘Spread the Merry’ is the most likely to cut-through and is in the top 10% of Luma’s database of almost 9000 ads.
Another beautifully animated story is Kroger’s ‘The Magical Cookbook’ from the US, also in the top 10% of our database. The family story is compelling and generates strong empathy for the brand. Be warned - it could make you cry!
Big W’s ‘Make a Little Magic’ does as it names suggest. This will cut-through – it is not only original but the magic story is exciting and leaves people feeling happy.
Michael Hill’s ‘Make Their Christmas’ continues the story of childhood love from last year and is one of the most likeable ads this season.
This year we are seeing a rise in the number of people who are feeling worried about their future. Another way brands are responding is to create joy at this time. Amazon UK’s ‘Joy is Made’ does just this. Beautifully filmed, the ad shows the joy in doing something special for someone you love. The ad is highly effective and leaves people feeling positive about Amazon.
And finally it wouldn’t be the festive season without a little humour. Asda’s ‘Buddy the Elf’ is funny, well-liked and spreads the festive cheer. Will Ferrell’s classic character Buddy is back and has been seamlessly integrated into the Asda store via some clever CGI tricks! The strong humour, casting and the infamous music track drive watchability and appeal - it's a cracker!
So, who are the winners so far this festive season....?
Effectiveness UK – Amazon ‘Joy is Made’
Effectiveness Aust – Australia Post ‘Spread the Merry’
Effectiveness USA - Kroger ‘Magical Cookbook’
Likeability UK – John Lewis ‘The Beginner’
Likeability Aust – Michael Hill ‘Only You’
Likeability USA - Kroger ‘Magical Cookbook’
Funniest for 2022 – Asda ‘Buddy the Elf’
And finally one from the archives – one of the most attention grabbing Christmas ads of all time is for Bonds from 2011
We love sharing our ad+brand intelligence, so please contact us and we can share more…..
The Luma Team