Amid stiff competition, Asda’s Christmas spot is on its way to being named the most effective festive ad of this year.
Launched last week, the ad sees Will Ferrell’s character Buddy the Elf play out iconic scenes from the 2003 film Elf, set instead in store at Asda during a chaotic trial shift. The supermarket used the power of visual effects (VFX) to transport the character directly out of scenes in the film and reinsert him in its 90-second spot.
According to System1’s Test Your Ad platform, which uses the emotional response of real people to award ads a star rating between one and five, Asda’s ad has scored the highest five star score of any Christmas ad launched so far this year.
The star rating is a predictive measure of an ad’s potential to be effective in the long and short term. Asda’s score puts it in line with two of the highest scoring ads in System1’s database: John Lewis’s ‘Excitable Edgar’ from 2019, and Coca-Cola’s annual ‘Holidays are coming’ spot.
Typically, just 1% of ads tested by System1 achieve the top five star score. However, viewers appear to be responding particularly well to Christmas ads this year, with a total of seven brands already making it into the top rank. Alongside Asda, these include Aldi, Boots, Disney, Lego, Lidl and M&S Food.
In comparison, 2021 saw just two ads score five stars: Aldi’s ‘A Christmas Carrot’ and Coca-Cola’s annual ad.
“The bleak economic forecast hasn’t stopped Christmas advertisers – and now we can see it hasn’t stopped the British public from loving Christmas ads,” says System1’s chief customer officer, Jon Evans.
“The brilliant creatives in adland got it right and this could end up being the best year ever for Christmas ads in terms of emotional effectiveness.”
By scoring five stars on its teaser ad, which was released on social media last week, Aldi has become the first brand to achieve five star scores for four Christmases in a row. The lead in each ad so far, animated character Kevin the Carrot is entering his seventh year as the brand’s mascot.
Aldi’s full Christmas ad is still to come, as are ads from the likes of John Lewis, Waitrose, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.
Evans adds: “Right now the likes of Kevin the Carrot, Farmer Christmas and Buddy the Elf are bringing a spot of much-needed cheer, but in the long term strong performances now will be good for brands and businesses when the economic gloom lifts.”