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Watch the Most Emotionally Engaging Christmas Ads Of 2020 (So Far)

LEGO’s offering tops our festive chart as the most emotionally engaging Christmas ad of 2020 so far, beating last year’s winner Very, as well as Amazon and Argos

With the world still in the grip of a global pandemic, this festive period promises to be very different. But some things will never change.

Despite facing up to the prospect of opening presents on Zoom and celebrating Xmas parties without leaving your home, some things definitely feel very familiar.

As always, I’m already panicking around what gifts to buy my family. And with six weeks still to go until Christmas Day, brands are already battling it out to win consumers’ hard-won attention this festive period.

But which of this year’s crop of Yuletide campaigns are engaging consumers the most? Well, this week we launched a new global chart that takes a closer look at which holiday campaigns are generating the most emotional engagement around the world, using data from our content measurement tool, UnrulyEQ.

Of course, it’s still early days in the battle for Xmas, and we’ll be updating the chart every week. However, we already have some clear festive frontrunners.
Here is a rundown of the campaigns at the top of our Xmas tree so far.

LEGO: Rebuild The World

LEGO’s Christmas ad, entitled ‘And I Think To Myself…’, featuring children and adults alike rebuilding the world using the iconic yellow bricks, is the most emotionally engaging festive ad so far.

The spot generated an intense emotional response from 39% of viewers, which is a whopping 95% above the regional norm.

And it’s no wonder. The ad squeezes an incredible amount into the just under two-minute spot, including dinosaurs, a police chase, astronauts, stormtroopers, ninjas, Ironman, a princess and a dragon, all playing out to a modern take on Lous Armstrong’s classic tune. What more could you ask for from a Christmas ad?!

This is certainly a strong contender for the top spot and as we continue to test all this year’s ads it’s going to be a hard one to beat. Game on, John Lewis!

Amazon: The Show Must Go On

Coming in second just behind Lego is Amazon’s ‘The Show Must Go On’, which went for a completely different angle.

Using ‘sadvertising’ and appealing to viewers’ lockdown frustrations, the ad left 38% of viewers feeling intensely emotional, telling the story of a young ballerina who gets her big break, only to have it taken away by the lockdown.

The spot takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, ending on a high while shining a light on the young people and the arts industry that have both been heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Argos: An Evening with AbracaDaisy & The Incredible Lucy

Number three on our list is Argos’s Christmas offering ‘An Evening with AbracaDaisy & The Incredible Lucy’. It’s another feelgood ad we’ve come to expect from the retail giant, and continues to put a spotlight on the Argos catalogue, which was relaunched in their Christmas campaign last year.

One of the first big Christmas spots to arrive, the ad scored a 36% for intense emotional response, putting it just behind Amazon and just ahead of WWF’s Elephant Trail.

This ad tells the tale of two sisters who put on a magic show for their family. They perform a series of incredible tricks, including disappearing pork pies, stretching the beloved family dog and a show-stopping disappearing act. If you don’t recognise the background track, you’re forgiven — it’s a new song from Gary Barlow’s upcoming solo album, due to be released later this month.


And there you have it, our top three most emotionally engaging Christmas ads so far! We’ve also tested spots from WWF, TK Maxx, Very, Pepsi and Facebook. You can check out how they’ve all done in our new Holiday Hub, where we’ll be adding new ads as they continue to be released throughout November and December.

We tested all these ads using our content measurement tool UnrulyEQ, which uses a combination of audience panels, facial coding and machine learning to measure viewers’ emotional responses to advertising.

Click here to find out more.