All that glitters is not gold

Another year, another debate about what makes effective Christmas advertising.

With Christmas now just a fond memory and the new thing on the horizon being a New Year health kick, we are naturally reflecting on all of the things that 2015 brought to us. From the world of market research, we saw new insights, new innovations and new advertising. So as the big brands begin to count the Christmas profits, we are again seeing the question of how effective the Christmas advertising was at driving sales. 

Lindsey Christmas ad blog image.jpg

A recent article published by Research Live suggests that Christmas ads 'don't drive purchase', so despite our furry friend from the Sainsbury’s advert generating strong levels of enjoyment, this did not do much for consumer perceptions of how much they were likely to spend as a result. Interestingly, a similar result was seen in response to John Lewis’ man in the moon creative. 

This reflects findings shared by Research by Design last year, whereby similar patterns were seen in a Christmas advertising poll. These festive adverts are undeniably enjoyable, but will they drive traffic into store? Will they sell more of the products featured in the advertising? It’s very hard to measure.*

Maybe Aldi has the answer by injecting festive ‘copycat’ humour into the mix? You can’t argue that its latest technique was bold, reactive and fast off the mark. By launching an advert mimicking the serious, yet emotional message delivered by retail giant John Lewis, Aldi managed to make the headlines for itself, and also for John Lewis. Could this been seen as a clever coupling with a retailer who does not directly compete in terms of product offerings? Arguably so. It is also said that imitation is the sincerest kind of flattery, and it certainly got people talking. The two brands have very different personalities, and the juxtaposition of the serious and non-serious approach to a very similar advert seemed to resonate well.

We will have to wait for the Q4 figures to be realised before we can fully understand who the real winners and losers were of Christmas 2015, but what will be less clear, and much harder to quantify, is how much of a role the different Christmas adverts played in these results.

One thing that’s for sure, it’s better to be in the news than out of it, and if customers are seeing, hearing and reading about your brand in the cluttered mayhem of Christmas then probably going to be a good thing. 

*Research Live

By Lindsey Nadin, Senior Research Manager 

This entry was posted in B2C, tagged Consumer, Advertising and posted on January 6, 2016

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