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“Excitable Edgar” Is Third Least Effective John Lewis Christmas Ad Of All Time

2019 joint campaign with Waitrose finishes just ahead of 2017 and 2018 campaigns, but signs are John Lewis formula is losing its festive sparkle

“Excitable Edgar” is the third least effective John Lewis Christmas ad of all time, according to our new research.


Released last week, the UK retailer’s first-ever joint festive ad with Waitrose tells the story of a little girl and her friendship with an excitable young dragon.

With a catchy song and cute protagonist, “Excitable Edgar” seemed like a return to the tried-and-trusted John Lewis festive formula.

But after ranking all of the John Lewis Christmas ads from the last nine years using our proprietary metric EQ Score — a composite score based on the intensity of emotions viewers felt while watching, plus a campaign’s ability to drive brand metrics such as brand favorability and purchase intent — Edgar finished third bottom, with a score of 5.8 out of 10.

That puts it just ahead of 2017’s “Moz The Monster”, in last place, and 2018’s “The Boy And The Piano”, suggesting John Lewis’ Xmas ads are losing their sparkle.


The animated 2013 campaign, “The Bear and the Hare”, which features a hare buying her bear friend an alarm clock so he’d wake up from hibernation in time for Christmas, finished top with a score of 7.8. In second was 2011’s “The Long Wait”, with 2012’s “The Journey” third.

All the ads in the chart were above the EQ Score UK average of 5.0.

Most Effective John Lewis Xmas Ads Of All Time

“Excitable Edgar” finished third bottom after failing to elicit a strong enough emotional response from viewers to challenge earlier ads in the John Lewis Christmas canon. Altogether, 38% were intensely moved by the content, which is above the UK norm of 29%, but well below the 48% achieved by “Bear and the Hare”.

It meant brand favourability (29%) and purchase intent (32%) after watching were both near the UK average. However, 35% of viewers did want to find out more after viewing, slightly higher than the UK norm of 31%.

Rebecca Waring, Unruly’s Global VP, Insight & Solutions, said: “Despite finishing near the bottom of our John Lewis chart, ‘Excitable Edgar’ is still one of the highest-scoring Christmas ads of 2019.”

“You have to applaud John Lewis for consistently achieving such amazing emotional engagement — it isn’t necessary to beat the previous year’s score each time. With the level of fame and attention they enjoy, the most important thing is that they continue to experiment within their tried-and-tested formula and keep surprising us.”

Find out more about UnrulyEQ.