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When It Comes To Emotional Holiday Ads, These Are The U.K.’s Best

When It Comes To Emotional Holiday Ads, These Are The U.K.’s Best

With more than 20 million views, it’s no secret that people all over the world loved John Lewis’ Christmas ad this year. But a new study by emotional analytics platform Realeyes shows that Monty the Penguin is also the “most compelling” of all the UK’s popular holiday ads.

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The platform, founded at Oxford University, measured about 1,500 people’s facial reactions as they watched the ads from 25 top UK brands, utilizing “more than 2.2 million facial data points.” “Monty the Penguin” scored 84% on the emotionally compelling scale, a combined measure of how the ad scores on attraction, retention, engagement and impact. This put it in the top 16% of ads ever measured by Realeyes.


The John Lewis spot was closely followed by Harvey Nichols’ “Could I Be Any Clearer?“, both ads were created by agency adam&eveDDB London. Somewhat surprisingly, Sainsbury’s blockbuster WWI Christmas truce spot came in at No. 9 on the list.

In a statement, Realeyes’ CEO Mihkel Jäätma said there are four elements to make an ad resonate emotionally. “Attract or hook the audience early, retain their attention, engage by invoking some form of reaction–the stronger the better–and finish with impact,” said Jäätma. “Monty scored joint highest on engagement and impact with Harvey Nichols, but won because it was the best ad at retaining attention. However, both ads were very mid-table when it came to initial attraction.”

Here are the Top 10 most compelling Christmas ads from the study.

1. John Lewis “Monty the Penguin”

2. Harvey Nichols “Could I Be Any Clearer?”

3. Post Office “Get Xmas All Wrapped Up”

4. Boots “Special Because”

5. Iceland “Peter Andre and Desserts”

6. Lidl “Little Present”

7. Harrods “Land of Make Believe”

8. Waitrose “Gingerbread Stall”

9. Sainsbury’s “Christmas is for Sharing”

10. House of Fraser “Be You No Matter Who”

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