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Disney’s Animated Christmas Ad Is The Most Moving UK Campaign Of 2020

Ads from NHS, Coke and ITV also in top 10 as Xmas and COVID response campaigns dominate ad platform Unruly’s annual ranking of most emotionally engaging ads 

LONDON – January 8, 2021 – Disney’s Christmas campaign “From Our Family To Yours” is the most emotionally engaging UK ad of 2020.  

That’s according to new research from video ad platform Unruly, which has released a ranking of the most moving campaigns of the year using its content testing tool, UnrulyEQ. 

Unsurprisingly, COVID response campaigns feature in Unruly’s chart, but it’s Christmas ads that dominate the rankingwith eight ads in the top 10 — Disney’s festive campaign taking the no.1 spot. 

The animated ad, which tells the heartwarming story of a grandmother’s relationship with her granddaughter and the importance of family traditions during Xmas, finished top after almost half of Brits who watched the ad had an intense positive emotional response to the content, making it 126% more moving than the average UK ad. 

That put it just ahead of Coca-Cola’s Christmas campaign, “The Letter”, in second spotThe two-and-a-half minute ad, which follows the story of a dad trying to deliver his daughter’s letter to Santa against all the odds, generated an intense positive emotional response from 43.5% of viewers. 

In third place is an ad for ITV, which features celebs Gordon Ramsay and Davina McCall urging people to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, while Great Ormond Street Hospital’s “Home For Christmas” is fourth. 

The NHS’s urgent lockdown appeal “Stay At Home” is fifth after generating almost twice the positive emotional engagement as the average UK ad, putting it just ahead of a campaign from climate change group Extinction Rebellion, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg.   

Festive campaigns from LEGO, Co-Op, Aldi and Amazon also feature in Unruly’s top 10.  

Most Emotionally Engaging UK Ads Of 2020  

Rank Brand Campaign who felt intense positive emotional engagement 
1. Disney “From Our Family To Yours” 45.1% 
2. Coca-Cola The Letter 43.5% 
3. ITV “Apart, But Never Alone” 40.3% 
4. Great Ormond St “Home For Christmas” 40.0% 
5. NHS “Stay At Home” 39.9% 
6. Extinction Rebellion “Whoopi Goldberg’s Dramatic Call for Climate Action” 39.0% 
=7. LEGO “And I Think To Myself” 38.9% 
=7. Co-Op “Co-Op Christmas Ad” 38.8% 
9. Aldi “Will Kevin Get Home?” 38.2% 
10. Amazon “The Show Must Go On” 38.0% 


Rebecca Waring, Global VP of Insights at Unruly, said: “With emotions heightened during Christmas, it’s no surprise to see festive ads dominate our ranking. But what really stands out in this ranking is that every ad is topical in some way, whether it’s COVID, Christmas or climate change. Issues-driven ads were a clear trend last year, which is why Unruly have introduced metrics to understand how well brands are speaking to the big ideas of the day: ‘Genuine’, ‘Trustworthy’, ‘Relatable’, ‘Non-Stereotypical’ and  ‘Sustainable’.  

We expect the most emotive ads of 2021 will also be linked to the big events such as the Super Bowl and Olympics, social issues such as diversity and sustainability, and further developments in the pandemic. However, it will be fascinating to see if any advertiser can break into the top 10 with a completely original and self-contained brand ad, rather than one that rides the zeitgeist.  


Unruly analysed the emotional responses of UK consumers to 250 ads released in 2020 using its content measurement tool, UnrulyEQ, which helps advertisers maximise the impact of their video content across multiple screens to more effectively land brand metrics and target receptive audiences at scale. At least 220 UK viewers saw each ad as part of the study.  

The results were then compared to Unruly’s database of thousands of ads. Ads were ranked on the intensity of viewers who felt an intense positive emotional response to the content.