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John Lewis and Very Xmas ads top social consumer engagement survey

Sir Elton John proved to be a crowd pleaser on social media. / John Lewis

John Lewis and Very.co.uk have won the annual battle of retailers’ Christmas adverts on social, according to research commissioned by marketing agency Intermarketing Agency.

Over a quarter of a million tweets, Instagram and Facebook postings were analysed by Intermarketing, working with Queen’s University-based data scientists Adoreboard, to reveal the definitive Top 10 Christmas ad rankings based on consumer engagement. Algorithms detecting emotions such as joy, trust, rage and anger expressed by social media users have been used to give an overall ‘Adorescore’ for each retailer.

The much lauded Iceland’s banned #NoPalmOilChristmas social purpose campaign hasn’t, however, engaged the UK public as successfully: the advert comes last in the Top 10 rankings.

Debenhams’ #youknowyoudidgood adverts celebrating getting the right gift are ranked third, with Waitrose coming in fourth with its ‘Too Good to Wait’ creative which also uses humour to engage consumers.

At the other end of the scale, Sainsbury’s, traditionally seen as the rival to the John Lewis Christmas ads, comes in 8th with its children’s Nativity-themed ‘Big Night’ advert. Marks and Spencer has also failed to engage as well with its ‘Must-Have’ creative featuring Holly Willoughby, which scores the highest for negative online emotions, resulting in a lower overall Adorescore.

Nickii Gray, managing partner of Intermarketing Agency said: “Based on our findings, the clear winners of the battle of the 2018 Christmas ads are John Lewis and very.co.uk. Both retailers have produced ads that inspire high feelings of joy and trust among consumers, reactions that are key in terms of brand engagement.

“Understanding the emotional impact of brand messages and advertisements on customers can help brands more successfully engage their target audiences. And it’ll be interesting to see how this emotional connection translates into sales when the figures are announced in January – clearly the high street and retailers in general need to continue to up their customer experience game more than ever.”

Intermarketing is based across six offices in Leeds, London, Manchester, New York, Amsterdam and Sydney with a 225-strong team. The agency works with brands including Adidas, Reebok, Bupa, Thomas Cook and the NSPCC.

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