Which brand won the nation's heart in the 2019 Christmas ad battle?

A Turkey of the Week manages second place in new research.

Clockwise from top left: Aldi, Argos, John Lewis & Partners/Waitrose & Partners, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's
Clockwise from top left: Aldi, Argos, John Lewis & Partners/Waitrose & Partners, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's

Many non-adlanders would probably associate Christmas advertising with John Lewis, so it is perhaps no surprise that John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners' first joint Christmas campaign was voted most-liked in new research commissioned by Campaign.

Nielsen AdIntel interviewed 1,013 adults aged 16-64 between 19 and 21 November on 2019's crop of Christmas ads and compiled "likeability" scores for each. 

Aldi's "Christmas spectacular", despite being one of Campaign's festive Turkeys of the Week, actually proved rather popular with the public, gaining a 47% likeability score to put the brand in second place behind "Excitable Edgar", which scored 54%. 

Aside from John Lewis – and perhaps a sign that what critics think does not always align with public sentiment – some of Campaign's recent Picks of the Week scored lower than Aldi. 

Argos' "The book of dreams" was described as "a blockbuster of a Christmas ad" by Gurjit Degun and has also rekindled some latent love for the brand for Adam & Eve/DDB's Martin Beverley, but it scored just 37% in the research. 

In another Pick of the Week, Simon Gwynn praised the tonal shift of Marks & Spencer's "Go jumpers for Christmas", noting that "the wacky, impressive choreography, tight editing and, of course, wise choice of vintage banger make it incredibly rewatchable". It scored a somewhat disappointing 35% in Nielsen's study. 

But Christmas ads don't have to be overtly Christmassy in order to be liked by the public. Ikea's grime-infused "Silence the critics", described by Leo Burnett London's Chaka Sobhani as "couldn’t be more on point", also made it into the top 10 most-liked festive ads, taking joint sixth alongside Argos.