M&S proves the big winner
Who came out top among the Xmas TV campaigns?
Christmas television advertising campaigns are as much a part of the festive season as holly and Santa, and while we may claim to be indifferent towards them, we all respond emotionally. So which one engaged us most?
Measured on Youtube views Sainsbury’s Mog the cat won the battle in terms of the number of viewers. As of today the supermarket chain’s Christmas campaign was seen nearly 26 million times, ahead of John Lewis’s Man on the Moon which got nearly 23 million views. M&S’s Art of Christmas trailed in third with just 2.5 million.
However, ICM Unlimited and CrowdEmotion undertook a survey using webcams to test how people engaged with the adverts. The survey captured emotions on the faces of television viewers during a screening of six campaigns – and it produced a different result.
Each was scored for happiness, surprise, puzzlement, disgust, fear and sadness. These were then tested against the viewers’ enjoyment and were put into four categories: Love It, Hate It, Needs Work or Guilty Pleasures.
Coming out as the most “emotionally engaging” was The Art of Christmas from M&S, which was filled with extravagant visuals and used Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk as the soundtrack. It was seen as upbeat and colourful, with images of gift giving, feasting and excitement.
On the other hand, Tesco’s campaign, featuring actors Ruth Jones and Ben Miller, prompted feelings of puzzlement and disgust. The awkward young man trying to impress a confident older woman on his tastes and his insistence on seeking her attention created a sense of ‘disgust’.
The much-discussed John Lewis Man on The Moon advert (pictured) took viewers through a range of emotions. It featured a young girl making contact with a Man on the Moon and scored highly in ‘surprise’, but also registered ‘disgust’ for making viewers feel guilt towards the elderly.
Asda’s ad produced a disappointing response, despite the upbeat soundtrack and visuals. Viewers felt it lacked a clear narrative, although it scored highly on ‘happiness’.
The Sainsbury’s story of the Thomas family and Mog the cat created ‘puzzlement’ and ‘curiosity’, while viewers saw the Boots advert as lacking a narrative and producing elements of ‘fear’, possibly because the ad moved quickly from scene to scene.
Tom Wormald, director at ICM Unlimited, told the digital intelligence website NetImperative: “In surveys, people claim they don’t respond to – or are not influenced by – TV advertising. But using a webcam we can prove we go on an emotional rollercoaster when watching commercials, meaning the ads are influencing our attitudes and behaviours in ways we often don’t even realise.”