We’ve officially reached the last month of 2021, and as we approach the countdown to the end of the year, it’s that time again when brands are beginning to compete for the honor of who has the best Christmas ads.
In the UK at least, this has become a sort of mini Super Bowl ads competition, where the biggest brands and agencies join forces to make us laugh, cry, and everything in between with the most cinematic entries they can muster.
A successful ad only has as much impact as it does when people talk about it, and these ads are designed to do just that — to create conversation. To get a sense of which ads have had the biggest impact since their airing, we looked back at the earned media coverage — and the public interest in that coverage — of Christmas ads since October to determine the big winners.
Christmas ads coverage since October 1st
Normally we wouldn’t go back this far when looking at the top Christmas ads, but this year we were forced to in order to mention an outlier.
The top stories
Unsurprisingly given the level of public interest in the coverage of the ad, the most engaged stories were about the ad for the Norwegian postal service which featured Santa and his new boyfriend.
Aldi performed very well this year, and articles about it compared it favorably to John Lewis’s effort, with reviewers praising it for its many layers and for its humor.
Those are the most engaged stories overall, but which brands dominated the top 100?
Top brands that appeared in the top 100 stories about Christmas ads
In the top 100 articles about Christmas ads, the Norwegian postal service was once again the runaway winner, though it was a closer race than you might guess given the table above.
There were 27 stories about that ad, with perennial high achiever John Lewis getting 19. Supermarkets Aldi and Tesco shared the spoils with 16 each. Other brands that appeared in the top 100 included Disney with six stories, Marks & Spencer’s with four, and McDonald’s with two.
While the postal service was not so far ahead in terms of the number of stories written, the engagement level was well ahead of its rivals. The 27 stories written about its ad had a total of 180k engagements, while John Lewis had 63k, Aldi had 57k, and Tesco coverage had 51k, meaning the Norwegian postal service had as much engagement as its three closest competitors combined.
This shows why it’s so important to measure both the public interest and media interest in a topic, as they often tell quite different stories.
So, while John Lewis had another successful year and cemented its place as a leader in the Christmas ad space, both Aldi and the Norwegian postal service saw significant attention paid to their campaigns and are serious contenders for the John Lewis crown.
While TV ads are important, influencers have become a crucial part of advertising in 2021. Check out our recent blog on the top Instagram influencers here.