This year’s Christmas ads show us that there are many ways to crack the Christmas advertising effectiveness nut! The top performing ads take different approaches including nostalgia, escapism, humour and fantasy.

Sadly, though, it’s not all joyful: the least effective ads are upsetting people in light of the current crisis. Any attempt to reference COVID-19 was always going to be like walking a tight rope. Some brands have triumphed; others, although very well intentioned, have been misunderstood and have taken a serious fall.

Using LinkNow, we asked 3002 UK consumers what they thought about 20 of this year’s Christmas ads. The research reviewed the critical factors that have been proven to determine whether an ad will be effective: if it will motivate people to buy in the short term, and if it will contribute to the brand’s success in the longer term.

Partnering with Affectiva, Kantar also used facial coding to find out how consumers engaged emotionally with each ad, determining the power of the ad to provoke an emotional reaction, and the nature of that emotion. This is key to understanding why the ads are effective – or not.

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So which ad made the UK feel most emotional, which portrayed positive role models for men and women, and which is the Most Powerful Christmas Ad of 2020? Download your Christmas Ads infographic to see the Christmas highlights and arrange your free 30 minutes with an expert on how to test your next ad.
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