Christmas battle of the retail brands: John Lewis the (God)Father Christmas of 2012 adverts

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A new study conducted by Vision Critical comparing the emotional responses of audiences to the Christmas ads of John Lewis, Boots, and Marks and Spencer shows the John Lewis ad bonded with and captivated its audience more than the others. Against a global database of over 6,000 ads tested over the last 20 years, John Lewis performed very strongly on key measures of attention and brand bonding.

Against a global database of over 6,000 ads tested over the last 20 years, John Lewis performed very strongly on key measures of attention and brand bonding.

Women were more attuned to the ads than men for both the John Lewis and Marks and Spencer.

A new study conducted by Vision Critical in early November comparing the emotional responses of audiences to the Christmas ads of John Lewis, Boots, and Marks and Spencer shows the John Lewis ad bonded with and captivated its audience more than the others.

Christmas mise-en-scène: the ad elements driving the sales

Against a global database of over 6,000 ads tested over the last 20 years, John Lewis performed very strongly on key measures of attention and brand bonding. This is particularly impressive for a long form 90-second spot.
Compared to a global effectiveness benchmark of 6 out of 10, John Lewis scored a 7.0, Marks & Spencer 6.2 and Boots 6.0. All three are effective ads – but John Lewis is clearly out in front.

For all three, music was crucial for grabbing attention; respondents also cited simplicity for Boots and involvement for John Lewis as key elements. Women were more attuned to the ads than men for both the John Lewis and Marks and Spencer.
The real time emotional response testing used in the research highlighted the key moments in viewer engagement: strong peaks in humour for the Boots ad when the girl blow dries her dog and grandpa says "don't tell grandma"; a spike in happiness in the Marks and Spencer ad when the kids are first seen; and a very sharp peak in emotional reactions for the John Lewis ad when the young girl first sees the snow woman alone and again when the camera pans up to the scarf at the climax.

Bonding with brands

In addition to measuring attention to the adverts, the research tested bonding between the brand and its audience by measuring this relationship using “brand feelings” -- like persuasiveness, personal relevance, brand empathy, user identification, and credibility. Viewers were asked to rate each feeling associated with the brand on a scale of 1 to 10. For Boots, viewers rated the ad an average 6.4 overall and 14% said they would definitely choose to buy from Boots. For Marks and Spencer, viewers gave the ad a 6.3 in brand bonding while 20% of the audience said they’d definitely choose M&S. John Lewis’ ad was given a 6.4 for bonding but, interestingly enough, just 13% of viewers said they’d definitely choose to buy from the retailer.

Methodology

A Vision Critical online community of 1,120 respondents was used to test the ads. The research used the online tool add+impact, developed by Vision Critical with the digital-experience agency Luma. Add+impact compared the ads against a database of 6,100 adverts tested globally over 20 years. The Boots ad was placed in the top quartile for effectiveness when compared to retail ads globally, but not among UK-only ads. The same is true for the Marks and Spencer ad. The John Lewis ad, however, found itself in the top quartile both globally and in the UK.

For more details on the study see this website: http://www.visioncritical.com

For further information: Jocelyn Senior, Keen as Mustard Marketing, 07967 098567/0207 7171685
jocelyn(at)mustardmarketing(dot)com

http://www.mustardmarketing.com

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Jocelyn Senior

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