The Christmas TV ad battle: which retailer is winning the war on social?

By Gillian West | Social media manager

November 16, 2013 | 3 min read

To uncover who is winning the Christmas ad battle PR, social media and digital communications agency Kindred has looked at seven retailers Christmas offerings and their social performance for the first part of November (1-12) versus the same time period in 2012.

With social now being exploited to support retailers Christmas ads, this year saw John Lewis and Tesco both premier their ads on YouTube and Twitter respectively.

According to Kindred, online exposure could lead to a shorter shelf life for the Christmas ads in exchange for heightened impact and more views over a shorter time period. So how are Asda, Debenhams, John Lewis, M&S, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose shaping up so far?

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Views: YouTubeWith over 6m views on YouTube the undisputed king of the Christmas ads so far is John Lewis' 'The Bear and The Hare'. Despite having launched four days earlier the closest competition comes from M&S with just over 650,000 views in comparison. According to Tony Thomas, MD at Visibility IQ, John Lewis relies on organic seeding with little paid for activities, M&S is the exact opposite, relying heavily on paid search. YouTube winner: John Lewis 6,576,462 (as at 16/11/13)YouTube loser: Tesco 304,521 (as at 16/11/13


Engagement: Twitter mentionsJohn Lewis is also winning the battle with 152,000 Twitter mentions, up 16.5 per cent on 2012, benefitting from the use of a designated hashtag. Supermarket Tesco is also performing well with 148,000 Twitter mentions, and competitor Asda has garnered 69,000 Twitter mentions. Twitter winner: John LewisTwitter loser: WaitroseEngagement: Twitter hashtagsJohn Lewis' #bearandhare hashtag has received over 28,000 Twitter mentions, with M&S's #magicandsparkle racking up over 3,500 appearances. With the other five retailers failing to include a hashtag with this year's campaigns, John Lewis wins yet again. Hashtag Winner: John LewisHashtag loser: Pretty much everyone else
Engagement: FacebookFacebook is now a go-to launch platform for new ads with many brands choosing to debut their offerings first on the social network. M&S's reveal on Facebook generated 160,000 interactions, with Asda totting up some 87,000 mentions and John Lewis sitting at 71,000. Waitrose on the other hand ignored Facebook as a video hosting platform with no big reveal for its Heston party range Christmas ad, gaining just over 1,000 views. Facebook winner: M&SFacebook loser: WaitroseSentiment Compared with 2012 five of the seven retailers saw less negativity from consumers in regards to their Christmas ads. Debenhams, John Lewis, M&S, Asda and Waitrose all received more positive reactions than negative ones, with Morrisons and Tesco seeing an increase in negative comments. Tesco saw the biggest shift, moving from seven per cent negative mentions in 2012 to 12 per cent in 2013. John Lewis received the most positive sentiment at 28 per cent, and Debenhams saw positive sentiment rise from 12 per cent in 2012 to 15 per cent in 2013.


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