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UK Insights

John Lewis v Tesco - the battle of the UK Christmas ad

Helen Rowe

Head of Brand Communications Tracking

Brands 15.12.2014 / 10:15


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Monty the penguin out-performs

John Lewis is once again the UK's favourite Christmas ad, with Monty scoring well above all other advertisers. Impressively Monty outperformed the Bear and the Hare, with unprompted awareness at 31% versus 17% secured in 2013. On the day of release Monty generated an impressive 20k mentions in social media.

Sainsbury's WW1 truce in the trenches ad is a strong second favourite, particularly amongst men who are less inclined to nominate a favourite Christmas ad. In contrast Tesco's Lights ad scored only 3% alongside Lidl with limited evidence of an impact on social media.

The data from Kantar's TNS shows that Monty has significantly exceeded last year's Bear and the Hare execution in terms of short-term effectiveness. Given the strong sales delivered last year, this is a very positive indicator for an even stronger Christmas sales performance this year. The Tesco Lighting ad scores 29% on motivation - below the Christmas ads norm, but better than the 21% achieved by last year's Family Through the Years execution.

Great advertising doesn't just generate a short term impact but also builds the brand for the long-term too. Measuring longer-term effectiveness means tapping into emotional dimensions that determine whether or not it will create new brand memories. Recent advances in neuroscience and behavioural economics have identified three key drivers of long-term advertising effectiveness:

  • Novelty - delivers something better than I expected.  
  • Emotional connection or affective impact - relates to things I care about.
  • Relevance - is directly relevant to me.

Together these produce a filter by which the human brain prioritises what information is processed. On all three factors leading to long-term memory potential Monty out-performs The Bear and the Hare, with extremely high levels of novelty and emotional connection, clearly striking the right emotive chord. Again, the Tesco ads trail, though the 2014 execution outscores last year's commercial on relevance and novelty, leading to stronger long-term affective memory potential, albeit still below the norm.

All in all it seems that John Lewis looks set for another strong Christmas, while Tesco's latest TV execution, although an improvement on 2013, looks unlikely to drive either a short-term sales response or longer term brand impact.

Read more about Christmas Ad research from Kantar's Millward Brown here

 

Source : Kantar TNS

Editor's Notes

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