Creative testing Christmas ads: the magic is in engagement

Natalia Kuznetsova-Rice
Natalia Kuznetsova-Rice
September 6 2 min read
Video testing via facial tracking: Swarowski ad featuring Karlie Kloss

Upmarket retailers have already opened their Christmas stores, which means the race to Christmas is officially on!

Brands are putting their best creative effort into developing advertising campaigns that will entice customers to choose their perfect festive food, clothes to wear to a party and gifts for the loved ones. Christmas ads are always more exciting and magical when compared to an average ad and often turn into pieces of creative art thoroughly enjoyed by viewers. Even more so – viewers actually look forward to Christmas ads, which is not something that happens to commercials very often. We’ve tested many Christmas ads over the years, and the emotion data prove they truly are magical as judged by the level of engagement they manage to create.

Surely you remember John Lewis Christmas 2016 ad? Using facial tracking to collect emotional responses, we tested the ad that scored a perfect 10 and is still one of the best performing ads in our database. 

Creative testing: John Lewis Christmas Boxer the Buster

Today, however, we would like to run creative testing based on emotion tracking for a different type of content – videos that brands have started creating to support their key Christmas brand film.  These videos are usually more practical, approachable, down-to-earth and designed for online distribution, rather than TV. They normally come in the form of a how-to, backstage, or tips & tricks video, made in the style of the key film or featuring a brand ambassador.  One of the great examples of such supporting videos is a short film featuring Karlie Kloss as part of Swarovski 'Give Brilliant' campaign. 

Ad testing via emotion measurement. Swarowski Give Brilliant Karlie Kloss campaign.
The happiness curve rises moderately through the video with women being noticeably more engaged than men. Analysis of the emotion data confirms the video reaches out to women successfully – a six is a moderately positive performance score. It’s encouraging to see engagement scored seven, which is an indicator that the video holds a viewer’s attention throughout. Both genders liked the jar in tinfoil moment – some lighthearted humor always helps. 

Christmas is the most magical (and highly competitive) time of the year when you show the world the best of your creativity. Video tetsing ensures you're in your perfect shape. 

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