Which festive ad resonates best among consumers?

YouGov’s Digital, Media and Technology team has used its expertise to research which Christmas ad is this year’s festive favourite, with Sainsbury’s First World War slot coming out top.

The research utilised dial testing to gauge consumer’s reactions as they watched the adverts. YouGov also asked respondents questions about their attitudes and behaviours to both the adverts and the brands to see which advert was best-loved and also, crucially, which one did the most to draw people to spend at the retailers. It also drew upon data from Profiles, YouGov’s segmentation and media planning product for agencies and brands, as well as BrandIndex, YouGov’s daily brand perception tracker.

While debate raged about Sainsbury’s ad using such a highly-sensitive event as the First World War as the focus of its Christmas campaign, consumers rate the advert as their favourite. Over four in ten (41%) chose that as the best. John Lewis and Monty the Penguin were reasonably close behind on (32%) while others such as M&S (6%), Boots (6%), Waitrose (3%) and Debenhams (3%) were further behind.

YouGov’s research found that among the brands tested, Sainsbury’s is likely to see the most shoppers through its doors during the Christmas period as well as after. However, although likelihood to shop at Sainsbury’s over Christmas remains high amongst those that liked the advert (one in three), the advert that sees the biggest increase is Debenhams with one in two of those who like the ad likely to shop there over Christmas, an increase of 22% versus the UK population.

Angharad Houlden, Research Manager at YouGov, says: ‘Irrespective of when an advert is seen – be it Christmas, the middle of summer, or a wet Wednesday night in February – the most important thing is how it changes behaviours and makes people spend with a particular brand. It is not simply enough to have a pretty ad that people like, it is vital that it drives consumers to the retailer to spend.

‘While a lot of the conversation this year has been around which ad was the best between Sainsbury’s and John Lewis, the answer is a bit more complicated. Although the ads are liked equally among consumers, among those who like the retailers’ ads it is Sainsbury’s that sees the greater likelihood to shop among consumers. For these reasons it has the greatest resonance this Christmas.’

Click here to see a full deck of research on 2014's Christmas adverts

Image from PA