Advanced Television

Report: Cadbury named “most effective” Xmas ad

November 30, 2022

Cadbury’s Secret Santa campaign has beaten rivals to be crowned the most effective Christmas ad this year, according to analysis by Kantar.

Based on feedback from over 3,750 consumers and facial recognition technology to assess people’s emotional responses, Cadbury took the coveted top spot with a campaign that focused on the true meaning of Christmas and the power of giving. The Secret Santa ad is the highest ranking in Kantar’s database of festive campaigns since 2019, performing strongly on advertising effectiveness metrics such as branding, brand difference, meaningfulness and long-term brand building potential. People felt it best celebrated the joy of Christmas in 2022 and also deemed it to be the most appropriate given the cost of living crisis.

This year has been especially difficult for advertisers to navigate, with record inflation dampening the national mood. Kantar research in October showed that nearly 50 per cent of people were worried about Christmas – a rise of 15 percentage points on 2021.

Lynne Deason, head of creative excellence at Kantar UK, says: “Who would have thought that post Covid, brands would have an even trickier tightrope to walk this year. The pressure was on to create engaging, uplifting campaigns that can drive all-important sales during the golden quarter without seeming out of touch or tone deaf to the cost-of-living backdrop.  However, our research found that by and large brands got the balance right. Ads were more enjoyable this year than last and created a higher feel-good factor, giving a much-needed boost to the people of Britain. Brands generally steered clear of messaging around spending or excess and instead drew on the true meaning of Christmas – togetherness, giving and joy – which was the right way to go.  Cadbury’s Secret Santa campaign cleverly tapped into themes of generosity and kindness with a populist concept that everyone can engage with, while capturing the essence of the much-loved brand.”

Christmas culture was deployed with great success this year, most notably by Asda with its Have your Elf a Merry Christmas campaign featuring Christmas icon, Buddy the Elf. The retailer’s most effective festive offering to date, the advert scored in the top 3 per cent of all UK ads for making people smile. Aldi took a similar approach with its Home Alone storyline, scoring especially well in humour among the top 5 per cent of all ads tested.

Deason continues: “Christmas ads have become something of a national event in Britain and are now part of the festive furniture. We know that consumers are more likely to turn to nostalgia as comfort during crises, and Asda and Aldi put themselves at the heart of Christmas tradition this year. Their campaigns work particularly well by reminding us of good times.  The ads are also fun – advertisers should never underestimate the power of humour and entertainment.”

Businesses have needed to show that they understand the real problems people are facing in the promotion of their products and services this year.  Drawing attention to children and young people from the UK’s care system, John Lewis & Partners’ ‘The Beginner’ was highly impactful.

Deason continues: “We remember ads that make us feel something and John Lewis’ campaign is off the chart when it comes to emotive power, sitting in the top 1 per cent. The brand’s approach in 2020 didn’t quite get the balance right, reinforcing people’s sadness instead of uplifting them. The retailer certainly hasn’t made the same mistake this year, with the big reveal about the reason behind the dad’s newfound passion helping to make it the most enjoyable ad of Christmas 2022. In fact it lands in the top 6 per cent of all adverts for this metric. The ad has broader benefits for society too as the male character ranks top of all Christmas ads for showing a positive, non-stereotypical male role model that others can follow.”

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Research

Tags: , , ,