US Insights

Amazon Christmas ad makes a lasting impression

Nigel Hollis

Chief Global Analyst

Brands 12.11.2017 / 12:00


Amazon's 'Give' is most likely to engage its audience.

Once again Kantar Millward Brown has conducted its annual study of Christmas advertising from brands and retailers in the UK, and Amazon’s Gift has been identified as the execution most likely to engage the audience and motivate people to buy. The ad is very different from last year’s but sticks closely to the five principles outlined in Make a Lasting Impression. 

Amazon’s ‘Give’ features the company’s well-known delivery boxes happily singing “Give a Little Bit” as they make their way from the fulfillment center and off to their recipients. This was the strongest all-round performer examined using Kantar Millward Brown’s AdExpress, telling an appealing story that stands out from the Christmas crowd, while strongly conveying the brand. This is particularly notable because while the vast majority of Christmas ads outperform our typical ad norms when it comes to evoking a positive emotional response, many fall short when it comes to highlighting the brand in a motivating way.

Intriguingly, another overall high performer was Argos’ ‘Ready for Take Off’  which also portrays a fulfillment center, albeit a more fantastical one. While not as likely to highlight the brand, the story of the elf making a last ditch effort to get a toy onto its delivery rocket-sled was the most involving ad of those examined, once again highlighting the power of a good story for making a lasting impression.

And what of this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad? For those waiting for the next in the John Lewis series of Christmas ads ‘Moz the Monster’ sadly may not quite live up to their expectations. Facial coding suggests people enjoyed the ad– Moz the Monster generates significant levels of smiles – but also suggests that this engagement is lost towards the end and overall scores lagged behind several of the other ads included in the research.

The most enjoyable ad we researched was Aldi’s ‘Kevin the Carrot 2017’. The fable of how Kevin finds love on the dinner table was well received on most measures and had the highest score for made me love the brand. Another execution that evoked enjoyment was M&S’s ad which features Paddington Bear who manages to turn a burglar into Santa Claus, however, the failure to integrate the brand into the story in any meaningful way suggests many will remember the ad but less will remember which brand it was for.

Why is the failure to convey the brand such a big deal? Because if there is one measure that anticipates how well a commercial drives sales it is branding. If the ad does not forge a strong mental connection between the brand and positive feelings and ideas it is unlikely to influence behavior at a later date.

Source: Kantar Millward Brown

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