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John Lewis Ads Are Losing Christmas Magic, New Unruly Data Suggests

The launch of the John Lewis Xmas ad has become as much a part of the Christmas experience for Brits as watching “It’s A Wonderful Life”, moaning about sprouts and your nan dozing off in front of the Queen’s Speech after one too many Babychams.

But new research released today by video ad tech company Unruly suggests the retail store’s annual festive treat could be losing its Yuletide magic.

Analysing the last four John Lewis Christmas ads using its content testing tool, Unruly EQ, the latest addition to the iconic ad series, 2017’s“#MozTheMonster”, finished bottom of the pile with a score of 5.1 out of 10.

Unruly’s EQ rankings were created using a combination of biometric, neurological, emotional and audio testing methods to evaluate, improve and predict the emotional impact and brand effectiveness of their video ads.

The ad, directed by Michael Gondry and featuring a friendly monster who lives under a boy’s bed, scored the lowest for almost all of the metrics tested, including overall emotional impact, purchase intent, brand recall, brand favourability, and willingness to find out more, putting it way behind even the third-placed ad in the chart – 2016’s #BusterTheBoxer, which scored 6.1.

However, possibly more worrying for the retail store is that 2014 ad “#MontyThePenguin” finished top with a score of 6.4, with ad scores getting increasingly lower every year since, suggesting consumers are becoming increasingly jaded with the John Lewis formula.

Unruly Ad Effectiveness Chart: John Lewis Xmas Edition

  1. #MontyThePenguin (2014) – 6.4
  2. #ManOnTheMoon (2015) – 6.3
  3. #BusterTheBoxer (2016) – 6.1
  4. #MozTheMonster (2017) – 5.1



Unruly tested the last four John Lewis Christmas ads using content testing tool Unruly EQ to create the Unruly EQ Ad Effectiveness Chart: John Lewis Xmas Edition. Each EQ score out of 10 is based on a number of key metrics, including intensity of emotions present in the ad combined with brand metrics, including if viewers felt the brand was authentic, if they were likely to purchase the ad and predicted shareability, and more.

The average EQ Score recorded was 5.0.

The intensity of emotions viewers felt while watching, brand favorability, authenticity and purchase intent all contribute to an ad’s final score.

Data was compiled within a month of each ad being released. Unruly used a survey panel of 2,000 nationally representative UK respondents.

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