Why Lidl’s Christmas turkey tops ad power list as most likely to spur purchase
Lidl’s Christmas Turkey is 2016’s most powerful UK Christmas TV ad, according to research carried out by Kantar Millward Brown.
BY SANDRA HALLIDAY
It tested 19 of this year’s most talked-about ads with consumer audiences using its AdExpress performance measurement tool, respondents scoring each ad on 12 factors that are proven to drive sales and build long-term brand engagement.
Lidl’s Christmas Turkey, which features a sceptical social media commentator spending a day with a Lidl turkey farmer, achieved the highest score in nine of the 12 areas, making it the all-round strongest performer.
Consumers found it highly involving, and felt it was the most relevant, believable, well-branded, different and informative ad. Most importantly, it scored top in ‘persuasion’, making it the ad most likely to motivate viewers to buy from the brand.
Everyone loves Buster
Viewers found John Lewis’s Buster the Boxer the most ‘enjoyable’ ad, as well as the third most persuasive.
It generates high levels of love for the brand, and gives the impression that John Lewis is trendsetting and different from other brands.
Facial coding – which analyses people’s expressions as they watch – showed a very strong positive emotional response, meaning Buster is likely to drive long-term affinity with the brand as well as short-term sales.
Boots improved on its 2015 performance with The Gift of Beauty – a more relevant ad that stands out from the crowd and is second only to Lidl in terms of persuasion. The retailer connects strongly with customers by using real people, and a niche and important group among them, to communicate a different message in a different way.
Amazon Prime’s The Priest and the Imam also performed well across the board, with viewers finding it inventive and involving.
Argos’s visually arresting and memorable ice-skating Christmas Yetis was the second most involving ad, and stood out by focusing on one clear message about same day delivery. Viewers responded positively, scoring it highly on ‘providing new information’ and ‘delivering the main things I need’.
M&S brought drama and excitement to Christmas with Love from Mrs Claus, creating an enjoyable ad that, while not necessarily telling viewers anything new, reinforces existing positive perceptions.
The 10 Christmas ads assessed to be most effective in terms of increasing all-important short-term sales, with consumers scoring them highest on ‘persuasion’, are:
Jane Bloomfield, head of UK marketing at Kantar Millward Brown, said: “Lidl’s ad makes an impact by communicating a very single-minded, relevant and compelling story with no bells and jingles. It successfully challenges perceptions about product quality, and makes us feel good about choosing Lidl for our Christmas shop, which sets it up well to repeat the sales increases it reported last year.
“John Lewis’s Christmas advertising is the gift that keeps on giving. Last year’s Man on the Moon created an emotional connection, but perhaps left us feeling a little melancholy. This year’s ad is significantly more upbeat, with a lovely story, flow and pacing that keeps consumers ‘hooked’ throughout and reaffirms the love that many hold for the brand. The use of music, animals, family and familiar Christmas challenges creates feelings of relevance and helps consumers connect.”
Research agency Kantar TNS analysed the social media conversations generated by the Christmas campaigns, paying attention both to the amount of sharing, and whether conversation patterns showed people identifying with the story.
John Lewis achieved more than four times the Twitter mentions of its nearest rival – and this reach built extremely quickly, with 50% of all tweets happening by the day after the ad was released. In terms of conversations, there is strong evidence of autonomous sharing across networks, with communities taking ownership rather than simply re-tweeting brand content.
M&S has increased its social mentions, going from under 2,000 in 2015 to almost 20,000 in 2016. However, its conversation footprint illustrates the sharing of a broadcasting message rather than the organic/sustained engagement achieved by John Lewis.
The importance of Christmas films being shared and recommended on social media is growing – providing a crucial advantage for brands that can tell compelling Christmas stories.
What brands should do
Analysis of the ads tested by Kantar Millward Brown highlighted three vital elements for developing Christmas creative that stands out and engages consumers and, ultimately, drives sales and builds loyalty:
* Be down-to-earth, authentic and ethical: Lidl has successfully challenged perceptions of quality by avoiding Christmas ‘fantasy’ in favour of a believable and ‘real’ creative style which tackles brand perceptions head-on and makes us feel morally justified in our choice to use the brand.
* Build longer-term emotional affinity through creative storytelling: John Lewis and M&S take viewers on a resonating emotional journey that will likely pay longer-term dividends for their brands beyond the festive season. By not focusing on a blunt here-and-now call to action, they have generated an affinity with their brands which will make them easily spring to mind when future purchase needs arise, not just at Christmas.
* Identify your customers’ needs and be single-minded in your communication strategy: Argos has identified and tapped into contemporary consumer Christmas shopping needs. With the increasing pressures on time presented by modern life, Argos’s finger-on-the-pulse promise of ‘now’ servicing resonates and appeals in an enjoyable, engaging and persuasive way.