The battle for the best Christmas advert has become a staple British tradition, right up there with getting tipsy on mulled wine and smashing your face with After Eights, even though you’d never eat them at any other point in the year.
But this year, the reigning champion John Lewis has been unceremoniously dethroned, according to public opinion research.
Brand insight firm Kantar Millward Brown reviewed ads from 22 brands and retailers, scoring each on 12 factors “that are proven to motivate people to buy, and build a strong brand in the long term.”
The research team also carried out facial coding, which analyses people’s facial expressions as they watch, to get a true emotional response.
And it was Iceland’s banned No Palm Oil ad, which was ruled the most powerful ad of Christmas 2018.
“The retailer has used Christmas to communicate a powerful message, wrapped up in a story that’s beautifully told,” according to the research company.
“The reworked Greenpeace ad successfully taps into the spirit of 2018 by choosing to talk about wider societal and environmental issues. The effectiveness of the ad – which has been viewed more than 30 million times online – shows it’s possible to make a huge impact without spending on a TV campaign, if you have an emotionally compelling story that creates ‘buzz’ in the media.”
Amazon, M&S and Morrisons also performed well.
At the other end of the table, John Lewis’s Elton John crossover ad was rated the second lowest among the major retailers.
“John Lewis’s ad lacks the ‘feelgood’ tone of previous years – viewers found it surprising and a bit confusing, but their smiles were much more muted than when shown previous ads,” according to the research.
(Images: Getty / Kantar Millward Brown)