John Lewis languishes behind Disney and Coke in emotional response ranking

Early releases Lego, Amazon and Argos hang on to top 10 spots in ranking from Unruly.

John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners' new Christmas ad has just made it into the top 10 in a ranking of UK Christmas ads by emotional response – but trails behind a number of major rivals.

The research by Unruly, which has so far assessed the emotional responses of UK consumers across 40 ads, found that John Lewis’ “Give a little love” generated an intense emotional response from 35% of viewers, putting it in tenth place in the list. 

Disney’s “From our family to yours” ranks as the most emotionally engaging festive ad of 2020 so far, with a score of 45%.

Created in-house by Disney, the three-minute ad follows the relationship between a grandmother Lola and her granddaughter, brought to fruition through their shared love of a stuffed vintage Mickey Mouse toy.

Coca-Cola seized second spot with its ad directed by Taiko Waititi “The letter” (44%), followed by Lego’s “And I think to myself” (the frontrunner among the first batch of ads tested) and Aldi, with 39% and 38% above the regional norm, respectively.

Amazon’s “The show must go on” ranked fifth (38%), with Not On The High Street (36%), Argos (36%) Marks & Spencer (36%), Barbour (35%) and John Lewis completing the top 10.

There are still several major ads that have been released but have yet to be tested by Unruly, including those from Tesco, Sainsbury's and McDonald's.

Based on Unruly's methodology, "Give a little love" is one of the less-engaging John Lewis Christmas ads created by Adam & Eve/DDB. It ranks above "The boy and the piano" (2018) and "Moz the monster" (2017), but behind the previous six, as well as last year's "Exciteable Edgar".

“People are clearly in the mood for high-budget, epic storytelling this festive period,” Rebecca Waring, global vice-president of insights at Unruly, said. 

“Disney and Coke’s mini-movies are comfortably ahead of the rest of this year’s ads. Lego is similarly spectacular.” 

Waring noted that ads that reference Covid-19 have not resonated as well with consumers, while Amazon’s festive spot functioned as “a great example of a brand not playing it safe, leaning in to the Covid-19 theme and ultimately standing out for its sense of passion and drama”. 

The ad, created by Lucky Generals, features French ballerina Taïs Vinolo as an up-and-coming dancer whose dreams are jeopardised due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Become a member of Campaign

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a member

What is Campaign AI?

Our new premium service offering bespoke monitoring reports for your company.

Find out more

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content