Aldi has taken an early lead in the race to be crowned the Christmas number one ad, with the retailer’s nod to Willy Wonka, “Kevin and the Christmas Factory” by McCann, currently holding a narrow lead over M&S Food “Fairy”, according to a new analysis based on viewers’ emotional responses.
The first results of System1’s Test Your Ad platform research rate six ads overall, but do not include Asda’s “Make your Christmas Incredibublé” by Havas London or the yet to be launched John Lewis spot by Saatchi & Saatchi.
The 1-5 Star scale is designed to predict commercial effectiveness by measuring people’s emotional response to ads and the intensity of their response. In 2022, an unprecedented 16 Christmas ads hit 5-Stars, predicting exceptional potential to grow market share.
This year, Kevin and Fairy are joined by an even more familiar face in the Top 6, with no less than four 5-Star ads so far focusing on Father Christmas: Sainsbury’s has a kid asking what he eats (5.7-Stars); Vodafone sees a girl making a high-tech plan to catch him on film (5.6-Stars); Coca-Cola imagines a world full of Santas (5.3-Stars); and Boots features a girl and her mum giving Santa a present (5.3-Stars).
System1 chief customer officer Jon Evans said: “Santa’s never been this central to Christmas ads, and audiences can’t get enough of Saint Nick this year. It’s not just coincidence – it’s a sign that people are hungry for festive tradition and generosity, the things Santa symbolises best.
“That makes it even more impressive that Kevin the Carrot and the M&S Fairy can go toe-to-toe with the big red guy in branding terms – a sign of the power of investing in a strong Fluent Device character.
“Both those ads stress sharing and generosity too. We’ve seen more purpose-led and down-to-earth ads in recent years as consumers deal with crisis after crisis, but this year it’s back to basics as brands put the Merry back in Christmas.”
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