The battle of 2017 Christmas ads

In the last five years, Christmas adverts have become increasingly popular with the public and social media playing a huge role in heightening a campaign’s impact. The usual big players in the Christmas advert game include John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s. Now they are joined by retailers including Boots, Asda, Heathrow and House of Fraser who have all created emotive adverts.

Christmas advert graph

2011 was the year of the release of John Lewis’s infamous video ‘The Long Wait’, featuring the boy who can’t wait for Christmas to give his parents a special gift. Since then, Christmas adverts have become more of an emotional message than a promotional one. John Lewis’s 2011 advert received almost 500k views, but last year, ‘Buster the Boxer’ received a huge 25 million views.

Many adverts have slowly been released, including Marks & Spencer’s Paddington bear advert, released on the 6th November and the long-anticipated John Lewis advert came out on the 10th November. The M&S advert has already received 3.5 million views and John Lewis so far has attracted 25k views. Brands are increasingly feeling the pressure to impress customers with their Christmas adverts and social media is fast becoming part of the experience.

In the last five years, we have seen a trend on social. Users used to go onto Twitter and Facebook to offer their opinion on retailers’ Christmas adverts because of the element of surprise, but now the brands themselves are using social media to tease customers. Many brands are using hashtags in their video so they can get feedback on what people think.

As social media has grown, viewers have become more critical. The graph below shows that although 46% of users experience joy towards the adverts, 40% of them also experience sadness. Interestingly, almost 10% feel anger towards the adverts.

Joy towards Christmas ads

Christmas is a hugely anticipated time for social users and brands are learning how to get involved in the conversation. In 2012, John Lewis released the Snowman Love Story video and the nation fell in love, triggering natural reactions online, but in recent years, customers have become a lot more critical –  especially with the 2015 Christmas advert (The Man on The Moon) and the 2016 advert (Buster the Boxer). Many users took to social media to connect with the brand directly and let them know why they didn’t love it as much.

Ad about John Lewis Christmas advert

John Lewis Christmas ad tweet

Negative tweet about John Lewis Christmas ad

John Lewis Christmas ad negative tweet

Nowadays, users expect to have an emotional connection with Christmas adverts. Last year’s Marks and Spencer’s advert, ‘Mrs Claus’ racked up 8.3 million views and John Lewis’s most viewed advert was ‘Man on The Moon’ receiving 28 million views. The real winner though is Sainsburys. The most viewed Christmas advert across the board was ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’ in 2015 with 37 million views.

What does 2017 have to offer for the highly anticipated Christmas adverts? Many brands released their Christmas adverts last week, all of which are below. We’ll be updating this blog post each week to add new adverts and update each brand’s results to see how they are being received across social. We’ll also offer our predictions on which advert we think will be the most popular in the run up to Christmas.


Marks & Spencer #LoveTheBear

ASDA – #BestChristmasEver

Aldi – Kevin the Carrot

Argos – #ReadyForTakeOff

Tesco – #EveryonesWelcome

House of Fraser – Bring Merry Back

Debenhams – #YouShall

John Lewis – #MozTheMonster

Sainsbury’s – #EveryBitOfChristmas

Heathrow – #HeathrowBears

Christmas advert social engagement statistics

Christmas advert statistics 2017Again, John Lewis has taken the lead on social engagement with the #MozTheMonster Christmas advert. What’s interesting to see though, is that although Moz is winning this year’s Christmas ad battle, previous adverts have had much more success.

Last year, Buster the Boxer received 27 million views and in 2015 The Man on The Moon got an impressive 29 million views. This year’s advert has so far received 9 million views, which compared to the successes of previous campaigns seems very little.

Is the Christmas ad hype dying out? Or will the views double in the weeks coming up to Christmas Day? We will keep monitoring the activity to let you know. In the meantime you can tweet us to let us know which Christmas advert is your favourite.

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