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M&S’s Paddington Ad Is Most Effective Christmas Ad Campaign Of 2017

M&S Has The Bear Essentials To Top UK Chart Ahead of Sainsbury’s And Aldi, While John Lewis’ “MozTheMonster” Down In 10th; Apple’s “Sway” Fails To Make Top 10

LONDON – Monday, December 11, 2017 – Marmalade sandwiches all round – M&S’s Christmas campaign, starring Paddington Bear, is the most effective Christmas ad campaign of 2017.

That’s according to new data released today by video ad tech company Unruly, which has created a chart of the most impactful ads of the festive season using its content testing tool, Unruly EQ.

Unruly’s Christmas Ad Effectiveness Chart uses the video ad tech company’s combined metric EQ Score to rank the ads based on their emotional, social and business impact. The intensity of emotions viewers felt while watching, brand favorability, authenticity and purchase intent all contribute to an ad’s final score.

The retail store’s “Paddington and The Christmas Visitor” topped the chart with an EQ score of 6.4 out of 10 after 35% of viewers came away with a more favourable view of the brand – the highest of any Xmas ad this year.

M&S’s ad was also the campaign which, alongside Sainsbury’s “everybitofChristmas” and Tesco’s “EveryonesWelcome”, attracted the highest purchase intent (41%) and the highest percentage of people who wanted to find out more (40%). Eighty-five percent felt the ad was authentic to the M&S brand.

The ad also packed an emotional punch, with 25% of viewers admitting they felt intensely happy watching the ad, 22% saying the content made them feel incredible warmth and 9% admitting to feeling incredibly nostalgic while viewing – all key emotions which typically peak during the festive period. Four percent even admitted to laughing out loud – making it the second funniest Xmas ad of the year behind Sainsbury’s (6%).

In second spot was Sainsbury’s, with a total EQ score of 5.9, putting it just ahead of Aldi’s “Kevin The Carrot”, in third (5.8). Asda, Tesco, Toys R Us and Heathrow all finished joint fourth with 5.5. John Lewis’s “MozTheMonster” finished down in joint 10th with a score of 5.1.

Other brands to appear in the top 10 were Waitrose (8th), Argos (9th), Coca-Cola (joint 10th) and Lidl (joint 10th). Brands which missed out on the top 10 include Debenhams and Apple.


Unruly’s Ad Effectiveness Chart: Christmas Edition (ranked by EQ score out of 10)

1. M&S: “Paddington and The Christmas Visitor” – 6.4

2. Sainsbury’s: everybitofChristmas – 5.9

3. Aldi: “Kevin The Carrot” – 5.8

=4. Asda: “Best Christmas Ever” – 5.5

=4. Tesco: “EveryonesWelcome” – 5.5

=4. Toys R Us: Geoffrey The Part-Time Reindeer – 5.5

=4. Heathrow: HeathrowBears – 5.5

8. Waitrose: ChristmasTogether – 5.3

9. Argos: ReadyForTakeOff – 5.2

= 10. John Lewis: MozTheMonster – 5.1

= 10. Lidl: Cavalier Carvers – 5.1

= 10. Coca-Cola: Gogglebox – 5.1


Academic and industry studies have repeatedly proven the effects of emotional advertising on brand and business metrics. According to a recent Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience study, ads with above average EEG scores (emotional ads) deliver a 23% uplift in sales volume, while the Field, IPA and Gunn Report, “Selling Creativity Short”, stated that awarded campaigns (emotional campaigns) were 10X more efficient than non-awarded campaigns.

To see the full Unruly EQ Christmas Ad Effectiveness Chart, click here.



Unruly tested 18 of the most popular UK Christmas ads from 2017. 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, if they were likely to purchase the ad and predicted shareability and more. The average EQ Score recorded in the UK is 5.0.

Data was compiled on November 30, 2017. Unruly used a survey panel of 8,181 nationally representative UK respondents.

UNRULY and UNRULY EQ and logos and associated marks are trademarks of Unruly Group. Other marks are owned by their respective owners.

About Unruly

Unruly gets videos seen, shared and loved across the open web for brands that want to move people, not just reach people. By bringing emotional intelligence to digital advertising, we help 91% of Ad Age 100 brands inform and inspire 1.44bn people around the world, using polite outstream formats on sites that people love. UnrulyX, the viewable video SSP, creates better ad experiences for consumers, improved brand outcomes for advertisers and increased revenues for top-flight publishers.
Emotion matters in marketing. Emotion creates values and sets preferences. Inspires action. Drives sales. Unruly has a decade’s data of consumer responses to video and uses that to hone content, model audiences and deploy ad dollars in ways that heighten emotional response and maximise brand impact. Unruly was founded in 2006 and acquired by News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) in 2015. With 300 Unrulies across 20 locations worldwide, our super power is emotional intelligence and our secret weapon is passionate people on a mission to #DeliverWow.