Aldi, M&S, Tesco and Boots Announced as Best Retail Christmas Ads of 2021

Data from Zappi highlights winning UK Christmas ads among retailers, with Aldi topping the list.

Zappi, the ad and innovation testing platform built by brands for brands, shared the results of the top Christmas ads in the UK. After analyzing consumer attitudinal data from a number of big-spending retailers through the Zappi platform, ads from Aldi, M&S, Tesco, and Boots came out as the winners, with Aldi as the overall winner. Other ads included in the study were Amazon, John Lewis, Lidl and Sainsbury’s.

Aldi was the highest performing of the ads on all key indicators. It scored above a norm of 694 UK ads, with the largest wins in brand consideration (whether someone would consider the brand over another), overall appeal (a person’s overall like or dislike of an ad) and brand linkage (how well the ad fits with the brand).

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Aldi’s results were as follows:

  • Brand consideration: 7.5 (significantly above a UK norm of 6.5)
  • Overall appeal/likeability: 7.8 (significantly above a UK norm of 6.2)
  • Brand linkage: 8.0 (significantly above a UK norm of 7.2)

Aldi’s success reflects a powerful, emotive, fun and traditional story using the strength of the character and style that Aldi has consistently used over the last few Christmas holidays to make the ad memorable and the brand easily recognizable.

Some of the aspects the audience enjoyed about the ad:

“I loved it all. I loved the characters, the storyline, the animation, the narrative. It was brilliant and is probably going to be the nations favourite xmas ad again for abt the 5th year in a row.”

“I liked when the spirit showed him around, all the wonderful things he saw. And at the end when he joined the carrot family. It makes it magical!”

“I liked the cartoon nature of the characters, their endearing, lovely faces, their outfits and the general Christmas feeling portrayed by the advert.”

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As the second-place winner, M&S scored well across the same metrics:

  • Brand consideration: 7.2 (significantly above a UK norm of 6.5)
  • Overall appeal/likeability: 7.5 (significantly above a UK norm of 6.2)
  • Brand linkage: 7.7 (significantly above a UK norm of 7.2)

There are a number of learnings that can be gleaned from the winning ads, including:

1. Despite some concern that Christmas ads were released too early this year, consumers were receptive to the earlier timing and generally responded positively.

2. Certain themes can pack a heavier punch at this time of year, including themes of magic, connection and the joy and tradition of sharing during the holiday.

3. A clear formula for winning Christmas ads emerged from the winning ads: 1) forge an emotional connection, 2) leverage compelling storytelling and 3) establish a clear and recognizable connection to the brand.