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What is the best day to launch a Christmas ad? It might be later than you think

By Laura Rudd, Head of SEO

No Brainer


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December 23, 2022 | 10 min read

Is there a secret formula to the success of this year’s favorite festive TV ads? Laura Rudd of agency No Brainer analyzes search trend data and social media engagement to crown a 2022 winner.

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Does the popularity of a Christmas ad depend on what channels it occupies? / Bruno Guerrero via Unsplash

Christmas TV ads have been hitting our screens in the run-up to the festive season, and the competition for the top spot continues to heat up globally. With retailers spending millions on the perfect 90-second advert, it’s no surprise that the stakes are high when it comes to measuring the impact of this marketing activity.

As an SEO specialist, I love seeing the impact that these kinds of advertising have on consumers' behaviors online. Search behavior and social media interactions can often be tell-tale signs of appetite for products and brands.

We’ve collated results to find out the top 10 spots in this year’s UK’s favorite Christmas ads, uncovering how their choice of marketing (and release date) has impacted their success.

Who takes the crown for the most popular Christmas TV ad of 2022?

When it comes to assessing the impact of Christmas TV ads online, it’s not hard to find substantial hype around John Lewis’ Christmas ads.

With nearly 20m views across all social channels and 384,000 social reactions, the retailer successfully kicked up a storm across social this year with their ‘The Beginner’ advert proving that a warm-hearted surprise narrative is perfect for driving social engagement.

John Lewis is no stranger to cinching the top spot for the best Christmas TV ad, consistently proving that their brilliant marketing strategy spanning major social platforms is one to be reckoned with.

When looking at Google Trends behavior and social insights around Christmas ads from different brands, John Lewis is the clear winner with the most searches. It's closely followed by Aldi, Asda and M&S – supermarkets have even reigned supreme over the likes of specialist retailers such as Boots and Disney.

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Has Disney missed the mark by ignoring prime social channels?

Social advances aren’t slowing down and they’re only continuing to grow, with new apps and channels growing in their popularity, demonstrating the importance of using them in new ways to connect with its target demographic.

After all, 73% of social media marketers believe social media is at the top of the agenda for improving a business’s effectiveness and that social trends are here to stay.

Data reveals that the choice of advertising channels has a massive impact on ad success, with Disney dropping brownie points for missing out on the key social channels of 2022, despite their surge in video views on the media channels they chose to advertise on (YouTube and Twitter).

Does the release date of a Christmas ad have an impact on performance?

We’re all desperately trying to find the secret recipe for the prime date to launch a Christmas ad, but there are so many external factors that come into play.

M&S may have been the frontrunners, launching their advert nice and early on November 2, but it turns out that it could be a case of saving the best til last, with top performers John Lewis and Aldi launching their ads last on November 10.

Here are the major ads, in order of release date:

  • M&S (Wednesday 2nd November)

  • Disney (Wednesday 2nd November)

  • Boots (Friday 4th November)

  • Lidl (Friday 4th November)

  • Sainsbury’s (Friday 4th November)

  • Asda (Friday 4th November)

  • Tesco (Sunday 6th November)

  • Morrisons (Monday 7th November)

  • Aldi (Thursday 10th November)

  • John Lewis (Thursday 10th November)

Brands that chose to release their ad later (away from the bustle of competing with lots of others releasing on similar dates) have made the most impact.

John Lewis and Aldi continue to defy the odds, both choosing to launch their Christmas ads later than the rest on the 10th of December. This could have potentially placed them at a disadvantage with the hype already building around the other ads, but sticking to this date has seen them soar and almost ‘piggyback’ on the excitement of others.

What does the future of Christmas ads look like?

It’s no surprise John Lewis continues to take the crown for the UK’s favorite festive TV ad, the planning and marketing strategy that goes into a highly anticipated ad of this caliber is second to none – other brands should take note.

The data just highlights how current trends and topics will play a major factor in campaign results, as well as choosing the most relevant marketing platforms to get this message out there to the widest audience possible. Brands need to reflect on this data and adapt to the ever-changing appetite of consumers.

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Creative Works Christmas Advert Social Media

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