M&S's epic helicopter Christmas ad lands with consumers

December 08, 2016, 11:33 AM GMT+0

But everyday tales from Lidl and Tesco also making a strong impact

Marks & Spencer’s yuletide epic, featuring a helicoperting Mrs Claus delivering a present to one lucky family, is the Christmas supermarket ad that has made the greatest impact on consumers during the festive period so far.

YouGov BrandIndex data shows that since its launch on 11 November, the retailer’s ad awareness score, which measures how many people saw an advertisement by the brand over the previous two weeks, has improved considerably. It is currently 16.5 points higher than on launch day, with its peak coming on 28 November when it was 19.5 points higher than on the day of its premiere.

Some will argue that the retailer’s advert does more to promote its clothing business than its food lines given it features only two mince pies and a couple of glasses of wine compared to a vast array of knitwear and shoes. However, the brand’s recent announcement that it is shifting its focus to its food outlets suggests they believe that this advert spurs people into the aisles as well as the fitting rooms. It has certainly captured the audience’s imaginations but whether it brings them into the stores remains to be seen.

The data shows that Waitrose’s Christmas advert has seen the second highest uplift in ad awareness – the tale of the long distance robin making the supermarket’s score stand 12.6 points higher at the moment than on 13 November, the day it launched. Lidl comes third following its adverts showcasing where the food it sells comes from – its score is currently 12.4 points higher than when it launched in November.

However, despite all of these early uplifts in the longer term it could be Tesco that enjoys the biggest amount of festive cheer. Its slow-burn adverts, featuring a family going around a supermarket, is steadily moving through the pack. It is 11.0 points up from where it stood at launch, but while many other supermarkets’ scores have started to drop off slightly, Tesco is still generally shifting upwards.

This year’s Christmas adverts have taken a range of different angles, from the epics of M&S and Waitrose to the real-life view from Lidl. However, arguably the most striking is the low-fi approach of Tesco. By featuring everyday situations, they have spoken to their customers from the consumer’s perspective – seeing Christmas shopping as something that takes place among the aisles and freezer units. The steady improvement in its ad awareness score suggests it is connecting with consumers.

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Image from Marks & Spencer