Top Elf: Asda’s Buddy shines as John Lewis ad bombs

asda elfBrand owners have been forced to tread a fine line for their 2022 Christmas ads, with the cost of living crisis looming large, meaning that luxury and indulgence have been replaced by a far more measured approach.

Even so, according to advertising effectiveness company System1’s Top Christmas Ads for 2022 Report, Brits still want a reason to smile.

Collectively, 2022’s festive ads performed better in its testing than any previous year’s ads and to mark the achievement it has expanded the Top 10 to the Top 12 Ads of Christmas.

System1’s 1-5 Star scale predicts commercial effectiveness by measuring people’s emotional response to ads and the intensity of that response.

The highest scoring ad this year comes from Asda, whose “Buddy The Elf” spliced Will Ferrell’s character from classic Christmas movie Elf into its own footage; it scored a maximum 5.9-Star on System1’s Test Your Ad. However, three other ads also got 5.9-Stars. Amazon, Aldi and M&S each made their best ever Christmas ad, and would have topped the list in almost any other year.

Surprisingly, John Lewis’ “The Beginner”, created by Adam & Eve DDB, failed to make the cut, despite winning huge acclaim from the marketing world.

xmas tableSystem1 Group chief customer officer Jon Evans said: “It’s easy for comfortably-off commentators to praise John Lewis for ‘getting the tone right’ this year and criticise more typically festive fare as inappropriate in a cost of living crisis.

“Our data shows that’s not what’s happening at all. We’ve seen more 5-Star Christmas ads than ever before, and the vast majority have been unashamedly feelgood and joyful.

“Ordinary viewers facing a difficult winter and cut-down Christmas don’t want ads to mirror their struggles – more than ever, they’re responding to ads which make them feel a bit of happiness in a tough time.”

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