John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin is the most compelling Christmas ad by a high street retailer, according to a new study, which used facial recognition technology to measure people’s reactions as they watched ads.
The study, by Realeyes, analysed 1,500 people via their own webcam to determine their emotional reactions to Christmas ads from 25 leading high-street brands.
Monty the Penguin scored 84 per cent on the emotionally compelling scale – a combined measure of how the ad scores on attraction, retention, engagement and impact.
Harvey Nichols’ 'Could I Be Any Clearer' ad, which focused on helping people avoid unwanted gifts by using ‘want’ Christmas cards, followed closely with 80 per cent, while The Post Office’s Get Christmas All Wrapped Up ad featuring Robert Webb and Pixie Lott came in third place with 68 per cent.
“There are four elements to make an ad resonate emotionally,” explained Realeyes’ CEO Mihkel Jäätma. “Attract or hook the audience early, retain their attention, engage by invoking some form of reaction – the stronger the better – and finish with impact. Monty scored joint highest on engagement and impact with Harvey Nichols, but won because it was the best ad at retaining attention. However, both ads were very mid-table when it came to initial attraction.”
Iceland’s ad, with Peter Andre picking out desserts, made it into the top five courtesy of the highest score on initial attraction of all the ads measured, along with Harrods’ Land of Make Believe.
Despite pushing out a big-budget Christmas campaign, M&S’ ad didn’t resonate well with consumers and scored the eighth lowest score.