Which Christmas Ad Won on Social Media in 2018?


Each year brands aim to create the perfect Christmas advertisement that will be watched on television and mobile screens across the UK. Competition is fierce during the busiest time of the year, which means every pound spent on Christmas content needs to count. Troy Aidoo and Vincenzo Lauro of the Carat UK Insights team have analysed how the most well-known UK retailers have fared on social media after debuting their highly anticipated Christmas commercials.

Christmas Social Listening Retail

Check out our infographic here for some quick stats, or keep reading to find out our analysis of 2018's most talked about Christmas retail ads.

More of an ethical push
Iceland’s Christmas ad drew lots of conversation due to the social and ethical nature of it. As consumers are more aware of the impact they and brands have on the world, they want more to be done about it. With Iceland’s ad being banned for being too political, a discussion erupted on the topic. People felt like this message was being silenced which amplified the conversation even further. There was also a call for other brands to follow suit and showcase what steps they are taking/could take to minimise their environmental impact.

John Lewis the benchmark
John Lewis was once again the benchmark of Christmas adverts, with both Sainsbury’s and Iceland’s ad being compared to the 2018 release. However, this year the advert was more divisive than ever, with some “loving the advert” while others were questioning the ad, wondering whether it was “Christmassy enough” or “just an ad for his upcoming film.”

Early releases drive negative sentiment
Those who released their adverts early drove higher negative sentiment than those who waited. They were met with negative comments such as “There’s nothing like showing a Christmas advert in November that would not want me to spend a single penny in your store”. This impacted those who released their adverts before Remembrance Sunday. This largely affected Aldi's sentiment, as well as the fact their advert was similar to the original Coca-Cola advert.

Characters steal the show
Characters in adverts help improve sentiment and drive conversation for Christmas ads, most notably for the Aldi and Sainsbury’s brands. ‘Kevin the Carrot” and ‘The Plug’ from the Sainsbury’s ad generated comments such as “for the love of Christmas, somebody save Kevin!!!!” and “The other Christmas adverts can all go home. That kid dressed as a plug in the @Sainsbury’s advert wins everything”. There were other mentions for a few other characters in the Sainsbury’s ad.

More Brand Interaction
Brands are interacting more over social in response to the TV ads with written and creative content. Aldi’s #SaveKevin advert had interaction from the Coca-Cola, with the brand responding to #SaveKevin with “We’re ready if you need us, Kevin #SaveKevin #HolidaysAreComing”. This trend continued when Sainsbury’s released their ad with Aldi’s Save Kevin and M&S’s Holly Willoughby ad reacting to the #pluglife and Lidl and Iceland creating content on the back of the rocket man advert.

M&S use responses to draw positive engagement
M&S was one of the few brands that used a call to action within their ads to draw positive mentions for the brand. By asking users to mention their #MarksFave, they got positive responses focused around Christmas. This helped them get into the Top 5 brands by mentions.



Christmas Social Listening Retail
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