London, Friday 9th December: M&S has won the prize for the most improved performance of a Christmas advert, according to new research from Kantar TNS.

And this is found to be because it is a perfect blend of relevant, emotive and novel.

The ‘Love Mrs Claus’ advert generated significantly higher motivation and engagement among consumers than last year’s The Art of Christmas (70% vs 51%), surpassing efforts of competitors including Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Only John Lewis logged higher levels of consumer engagement, although the improvement of ‘Buster the Boxer’ registered just 13% higher than 2016’s ‘Man on the Moon’, and on a close par with 2014’s ‘Monty the Penguin’.

Kantar TNS has revealed for the first time the three measures that really determine whether a campaign will be noticed and remembered by consumers for a long time.

First, the novelty factor: John Lewis scored highly on novelty this year, with an advert that conveyed something different with animals bouncing on a trampoline. Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot advert also won points for its unusual storyline.

Secondly, a need to tug at the heart strings: M&S’s ‘Love Mrs Claus’ campaign excelled at this with an emotive story of a little boy who wants his sister to have the perfect present. Adverts that vividly remind people of things they care personally about have a greater impact.

Thirdly, relevance: Tesco’s ‘Bring it On’ campaign came out on top for its adverts depicting shopping and Christmas parties, which people can relate to.

Cumulatively, M&S scored highest of all retailers on novelty, emotional impact and relevance, delivering its surge in popularity.

Helen Rowe, Kantar TNS’s Head of Brand & Communications Research, commented: “With an emotional story and novel approach to the traditional Christmas story, M&S has come out strongly in this year’s battle of the adverts. With the weight of expectation around these ads, brands need to ensure that they are striking the perfect balance to unlock a consumer desire to buy.”

“In a crowded space, the temptation can be to prioritise novelty to stand out, which John Lewis achieved this year with Boxer the Buster. But we found this to be at the expense of relevance or emotional connection, where other adverts shone through.”

“The good news for those less successful hits is that you can bounce back. M&S has shown us what the right combination of triggers can do, doubling its consumer rating across all three measures this year. The question is, how will the others catch up in 2017?”


About Kantar TNS

Kantar TNS is one of the world’s largest research agencies with experts in over 80 countries. We provide actionable insights to help companies make impactful decisions and drive growth.  With expertise in innovation, brand and communication, shopper activation and customer relationships we help our clients identify, optimise and activate the moments that matter to drive growth for their business. We are part of Kantar, one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies.

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About Kantar

Kantar is one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies. Working together across the whole spectrum of research and consulting disciplines, its specialist brands, employing 30,000 people, provide inspirational insights and business strategies for clients in 100 countries. Kantar is part of WPP and its services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.