MindProber’s UK Christmas Ads Tracker: John Lewis Takes the Emotion Trophy and Reaps the Benefits on Brand Metrics

Every year, British television viewers are treated to the special sight of classic Christmas ads from retail brands that have become part of holiday tradition. These commercials evoke the spirit of Christmas in audiences across Britain and serve to bring joy and cheer during this special time of year. These ads also mark a major investment by companies looking to capitalize on the festive season with creative campaigns designed to capture attention and drive sales. 

Using MindProber’s unique media measurement solution, we analyzed the commercials’ emotional impact, and their ability to translate into business-relevant metrics. As a result, we created the first MindProber’s UK Christmas Ads ranking, listing the five ads according to MindProber’s Emotional Impact Score.

But before we dig into the ranking, it’s important to understand why brands should care about creating emotionally impactful ads, from a business point of view.

Christmas ads – brand recall and purchase intent

British Christmas ads are now a part of the holiday tradition for audiences across the country. What is even more interesting, however, is how these commercials can lead to higher brand recall and purchase intent when they have a high emotional impact on viewers. MindProber’s unique emotional impact measurement approach shows that creating high emotional impactful ads, capable of reaching out to viewers and creating lasting connections, is fundamental to standing out amongst the competition.
Results from MindProber’s analysis of the UK Christmas ads show that the Top 5 commercials ranked according to our Emotional Impact Score produced 1.26 times higher unaided brand recall, than those that didn’t make the cut. They are also 1.08 times more likeable and create a 1.06 times higher intent to purchase.

It’s clear that creating emotionally impactful Christmas advertisements can have a positive effect on the success of brands. The results from MindProber’s analysis show that when UK commercials are able to evoke strong emotions in viewers, it leads to higher brand recall and purchase intent. 

As marketers look for ways to increase their reach during the holiday season, these findings demonstrate the importance of making sure advertisements capture people’s attention through an emotional connection. Thus, if you want your brand or product to stand out this festive season, make sure your ad has an emotional hook that resonates with audiences!


5. Boots: “Joy for All” – 619 EIS

We start our Top 5 with Boots that highlights how the brand is the perfect place to shop for all your friends’ and relatives’ presents, just as long as you happen to find the magical Christmas glasses, apparently sold by Boots as well. A fun-themed commercial that delivers some practical brand attributes as well.

Boots Christmas Advert 2022 | #JoyForAll | Boots UK

4. Lidl: “The Story of the Lidl Bear” – 651 EIS

This year Lidl’s Christmas commercial gives new clothing to the traditional tale where fame and fortune estranges one from the true Christmas spirit and their loved ones. Starring a Teddy Bear. An endearing tale that also displays a funny social criticism of society.

Watch ‘The Story of Lidl Bear’

3. Tesco: “The Christmas Party” – 665 EIS

Number three of our ranking is for Tesco, whose ad stands out from this year’s crop by taking a unique and humorous stance on the economic and social situation in the UK. Taking the lead as The Christmas Party, the ad delivers an impassioned speech on how Tesco promises to bring the joy of Christmas back to Britain’s tables. All under the nostalgic notes of Europe’s “Final Countdown” hit song, for added humour, and a bronze medal on this year’s British Christmas ads ranking.

The Christmas Party | Tesco #StandForJoy

2. Asda: “Have your Elf a Merry Christmas” – 672 EIS

Our second spot goes to Asda, which went directly for a nostalgic approach enlisting Buddy, Will Ferrel’s character from the 2003 Christmas hit “Elf”. Just like in the movie, Buddy is mistaken by a job applicant and helps create the Christmas spirit at your local Asda supermarket. Despite the goofy side of the ad, and the clear digital insertion of Will Ferrel within the ad footage, Asda’s elf approach paid off in evoking an emotional impact in viewers that translated to higher brand recall and purchase intent.

Have your Elf a Merry Christmas | Asda Christmas Advert 2022

1. John Lewis: “The Beginner” – 693 EIS

A UK Christmas Ads ranking without John Lewis just couldn’t be. The brand that practically started the trend of the UK Christmas advertising-friendly competition, fills the top spot of our Emotional Impacful ads ranking. With a well-crafted ad that shows the journey of a middle-aged man struggling to learn how to skate just in time for welcoming a young girl from the UK care system for Christmas. Once again John Lewis delivers a fine balance between feel-good comedy, across the moments where the man struggles to learn how to skate, and an impactful social awareness message.

The Beginner | John Lewis & Partners | Christmas Ad 2022


Creating emotionally impactful commercials can be an effective way for brands to reach out and engage consumers, especially during the Christmas Season. Emotions play a powerful role in the way we make decisions and relate to brands, and commercials that tap into emotions, just like these Christmas ads do, can create a strong connection with viewers. This can lead to increased brand loyalty and higher levels of engagement with the brand. In addition, emotional commercials tend to be more shareable, which can help to spread the brand’s message and reach a wider audience. Overall, using emotionally impactful commercials can be a powerful tool for brands to build stronger relationships with their customers.

Happy Holidays!

Lastest blog and news

Lastest blog and news