Aldi wins Christmas ad battle as Boots and Tesco disappoint

With just six days to go until Christmas, new data claims Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot is this year’s most successful festive campaign.


According to new data it is Aldi, not John Lewis, that has the most successful Christmas campaign this year.

Despite Aldi being some distance away from John Lewis when it comes to mentions, with 19,816 compared to 241,190, it is the overall best performer, according to Waggener Edstrom [WE] Communication’s brand agility index.

WE’s index is compiled by ranking brands out of five in areas including a campaign’s scalability, relevance, the speed in which it responds on social media, engagement, originality, personalisation and sentiment. WE achieves this by analysing all conversations and engagement levels from brands across news, blogs, forums, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and comments on YouTube during the festive period. And Aldi, with a score of 247, just pips John Lewis (244) to the post.

Having monitored all the Christmas ads since 4 November, among the weakest performers are Ocado, Tesco, Currys and Boots, with each failing to resonate as they “lack memorable characters”. And despite their big marketing budgets, Ocado (2,408), Currys/Dixons (4,542) and Boots (3,979) also struggled for mentions on social media.

“While John Lewis did ‘win’ in terms of the sheer number of mentions, the main reason why Aldi has scored higher in our brand agility index is that it has kept going, week in and week out. From promotions to competitions, ‘Kevin the Carrot’ was ever-present,” explains Gareth Davies, head of digital and insight at WE.


“Looking at John Lewis’s social pages, there appears to be less Christmas-themed content lately. Sure, this did not impact the overall number of references the brand received, but it did make it miss out across several parameters because it was more about promotions and less about continuing the ‘Buster the Boxer’ story.”

Looking ahead to 2017, Davies predicts the use of comedic festive characters such as Kevin the Carrot and Buster the Boxer to only intensify.

He concludes: “It goes without saying that adding a central character to your Christmas story will always be a good way to win the hearts and minds of the British consumer.

“But in order for it to resonate, it needs to not only reflect the brand’s own character but needs to sit well with the broader public as well. While the Marks & Spencer advert was a nice story, some felt a lack of warmth from the Mrs Claus character and that resonated in the conversations we saw. This in turn impacted its sentiment and overall engagements scores.”

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