McDonald's Inner Child

Best and Worst UK Christmas Ads for Audience Attention

The competition for consumer attention is fierce leading up to Christmas. It’s crucial to have a campaign that attracts highly distracted audiences, which is why brands spend millions on media space. The pandemic has created a backdrop of caution, along with a host of logistical challenges, but advertiser's creativity could’t be locked down.

If there was ever a year that deserved a good Christmas for brand advertising, then this is it – but how did they fair?

  Brand Creative Sec   Quality Score Capture Retain Encode
01 McDonald's Inner Child 90   `7 6.01 28% 66.1
02 TK Max Lil' Goat 30   7 5.07 24% 98.5
03 Lidl Big on a Christmas you can believe in 60   7 6.13 30% 52.3

(Download to see full chart)

41 O2 Unwrap the Magic of Christmas 60   2 4.22 13% 18.1
42 Disney From Our Family to Yours 180   2 3.87 18% 20.5
43 Sainsbury's Gravy song (Part 1) 60   1 3.44 0% 16.0
    Mean Average     4 4.49 20.6% 52.3

At this time of year there’s always plenty of interest in the industry, with creative leaders and marketing moguls offering opinions on which ad has the most sparkle, but plaudits from pundits aren’t always aligned to actual audience response. 

At the beginning of November, as the festive ad-fest went underway, using our AI, we measured the attention levels and emotional responses of 1916 viewers as they watched 43 videos. Within 24 hours using PreView, our creative testing product, we could see just by the Quality Score, which ads were the best at capturing, retaining and engaging viewers. No opinions, just results of their potential market performance.

See how well each festive ad captured, retained and engaged a UK audience.     

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