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Video Ad Platform Unruly Launches Ranking Of Most Emotionally Engaging Festive Ads of 2020

LEGO and Amazon campaigns early frontrunners in chart of most moving holiday ads 

LONDON, NEW YORK, SYDNEY – November 10, 2020 Leading video advertising platform Unruly today launches a weekly chart of the most emotionally engaging festive campaigns of 2020. 

With emotions running even higher than normal in the run-up to this year’s holiday period, Unruly is using its content testing tool UnrulyEQ to measure which festive ads are generating the most smiles, laughs, goosebumps and tears from audiences around the world.  

There may be more than six weeks still to go until Christmas Day, but there is already an early frontrunner at the top of Unruly’s festive tree. Among the early entries, LEGO’s “And I Think To Myself sits proudly at the top of Unruly’s Christmas ads chart. 

The ad, featuring adults and children playing with the famous building blocks, encouraging them to rebuild the world by unleashing their imaginations, topped the chart after generating an intense emotional response from 39% of people who viewed the ad – almost twice the UK average. Feelings of happiness, amazement, warmth and inspiration were particularly high among viewers who watched the spot 

That put it just ahead of Amazon’s inspiring tale “The Show Must Go On”, which generated an intense response from 38% of viewers, in second, and Argos’ “An Evening with AbracaDaisy & The Incredible Lucy” (36%), in third. 


Most Emotionally Engaging Christmas ads of 2020 – Week 1 

Rank Brand Campaign Territory campaign tested Intense emotional response % above regional norm 
1. LEGO “And I Think To Myself” UK 39% +95% 
2. Amazon “The Show Must Go On” UK 38% +90% 
3. Argos “An Evening with AbracaDaisy & The Incredible Lucy” UK 36% +80% 
4. WWF “Elephant Trail” UK 32% +60% 
5. TK Maxx “The Lil’ Goat” UK 31% +55% 
6. Very “Xmas Is This Very Moment” UK 30% +50% 
7 Pepsi MAX “Refresh Your Christmas” UK 24% +20% 
8 Facebook “Charades” UK 23% +15% 

The World Wildlife Federation’s “Elephant Hunt” is currently in fourth, while TK Maxx’s ad, starring a dancing goat in designer clothes, takes fifth spot. All ads have so far generated a stronger emotional response than the regional average, suggesting emotions could be running higher than normal 

However, with only 8 ads being tested so farall in the UKLEGO will face some stiff competition in the coming weeks, especially with festive heavyweights John Lewis, Sainsburys and Apple still to release their holiday campaigns. 

Rebecca Waring, Global VP of Insights at Unruly, said: LEGO’s ad is not only the most emotive Christmas ad of 2020 so far, but one of the most emotive Christmas ads we’ve ever tested in the UK. The one to beat is John Lewis’ ‘The Bear and the Hare’ from 2013, which scored 48%.

The most remarkable thing about LEGO’s ad is that it achieves such a strong response without any hint of sadvertising. This is completely in line with LEGO’s brand and with what UK consumers are looking for our research shows that despite (or perhaps because of) mixed feelings about Christmas itself this year, people want ads that make them feel warm, happy, nostalgic and inspired. 

We can already see that the emotional response to ads is significantly higher than usual this year (14% uplift versus last year). Therefore, I have a feeling that some even more outstanding results could be around the corner when the next batch of ads is released! 

Unruly’s festive chart will be updated every week in the lead-up to the holiday period, you can check out the full chart here.