Sainsbury's steals top spot from John Lewis in Christmas ads 'likeability' ranking

Sainsbury's Mog the cat has beaten off John Lewis' Man in the Moon to become the UK's best-liked 2015 Christmas ad, according to an Adwatch poll by Marketing.

Sainsbury's: the supermarket's revival of Mog the cat made it the most-liked Christmas ad of 2015
Sainsbury's: the supermarket's revival of Mog the cat made it the most-liked Christmas ad of 2015

Nearly half (47%) of the 1000 respondents quizzed by Marketing said they liked Sainsbury’s ‘Christmas calamity’ TV spot, while 41% of the sample said they liked John Lewis’s commercial featuring a young girl making contact with a lonely man in the moon, giving the spot second place.

Regardless of whether the latter roused or riled consumers, the department store's Christmas fare pummelled the supermarket's in the fight for memorability - John Lewis achieved 60% recall, while Sainsbury's scored nearly half that, at 32%.

This year marks a triumph for Sainsbury’s battle for the 'likeability' top spot, after repeatedly losing out to John Lewis. Last year, the two were neck and neck, but John Lewis won with 56% of the vote for ‘Monty the penguin’, while a marginally smaller 53% said they liked Sainsbury’s First World War truce epic, in association with The Royal British Legion.

Both retailers' ads again combined a commercial message with a charity association, with Sainsbury’s supporting Save The Children and John Lewis raising funds for Age UK.

The charity association stance was not one adopted by Aldi, which came third place in the ‘likeability’ stakes, and which with a score of 39% was only 2% behind John Lewis. Aldi’s ‘Sound of Music’-inspired ‘My favourite things’ ad impressively beat Sainsbury’s in recall terms, with 44% of respondents remembering the ad.

In fourth position, Tesco’s Ruth Jones and Ben Miller ‘family’ advertising debut -- which won Campaign’s far-from-complimentary but at least festive-sounding ‘Turkey of the Week’ -- was liked by 33% of consumers and recalled by 50%. Boots’ ‘The man with the bag’ came fifth, scoring 32% and 27% respectively.

Towards the bottom of the top 10, Asda’s ‘Save money, live better’-themed ad was liked by 28% of the public, and at the bottom in 10th was Morrisons, liked by 26% of consumers.

Adwatch was conducted on behalf of Marketing by TNS among a representative sample of 1000 UK consumers, with the ads sourced by Ebiquity.

Earlier this month, Marketing published a compilation of the best Christmas ads of this year.

#BRANDAGENCY/TV BUYERLIKE ABILITY % RECALL %
1

Sainsbury’s

AMV BBDO/ PHD

47

32

2

John Lewis

Adam & Eve DDB / Manning Gottlieb OMD

41

60

3

Aldi

McCann Manchester/ UM Manchester

39

44

4

Tesco

Bartle Bogle Hegarty / Mediacom

33

50

5

Boots

Mother / OMD UK

32

27

5

Marks & Spencer

Rainey Kelly Y&R / Mindshare

32

32

7

Argos

CHI & Partners / Mindshare

29

28

8

Asda

VCCP /  Carat

28

24

9

Lidl

TBWA London / Starcom

27

34

10

Morrisons

DLKW Lowe / MEC

26

23