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Let's Get into the Xmas Spirit Together with Respondents From Around the World

Olga Keating
Market Research Manager
We can all agree that Christmas is about family and unity. However, while some of the ads tap into the traditional and timeless values, others stand out and go about it a different way this year. We do love to see the brave new directions some of the creative teams take. After all, it gives us more to write about. But do they work well with the audience? Let's find out.

Christmas ads by John Lewis, Old Spice, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola and ALDI.

Target: a national representative sample of Brits, Germans, Australians, Brazilians and people from the USA between the ages of 18 and 65.

Video Test research solution on the Fastuna platform. Online panel respondents were sent a survey link to their email. After watching the video, they answered our survey questions. Each video was tested on 100 respondents.

John Lewis, UK

Instead of going for a high budget blockbuster this year John Lewis creates a simple ad with a focus on human connection and compassion. The ad brings to light the work that the company does with child support and fostering through a short story. A middle aged man is desperately trying to learn his future foster daughter’s hobby to make her feel welcome.
The audience absolutely loved the ad as it spoke to their humanity in an appealing way. It goes to show what market research can do to elevate the result as throughout its creative development this ad has been rigorously tested due to its sensitive nature.
I like the heart-warming nature of the ad where rather than focus on its products, John Lewis chooses to primarily focus on stating how others are in need of help and everyone should do the same too. — Male, 23
I’m near in tears after watching it! It is very thought provoking and hits home what the message of a Christmas really is all about! — Female, 29
Almost all the KPIs are good or excellent. See the full report →
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Old Spice, Germany

The Old Spice man on the horse is back only now he is on a deer! While the original series were very funny and successful this Christmas ad didn’t quite hit the spot with the German audience. It scored only 53% which is below average. While it was unique and clear, people just didn’t find it relevant, interesting or share worthy.
It may be because the ad only appeals to men and women who plan to buy Old Spice for their men this Christmas or because some people were not familiar with the original series, therefore the humor of the character was lost on them. In any case, with scores so low for purchase intent, desire to learn more or tell others the ad does not evoke much call to action and this will likely be reflected in the sales.
Cliche, and why should I smell like an old man to be able to celebrate Christmas?! — Male, 53
I just don’t like it! Definitely don’t need half-naked men in an ad for Christmas. — Male, 29
Most of the KPIs are below average. See the full report →

Chevrolet, USA

An unusual take from a car manufacturer to show an old Chevy that doesn’t start. However, it works as a prop for displaying the lives and stories that revolve around this car. It carries sentimental value.
Especially high on clarity and appeal, the new heartwarming Chevrolet ad scores above average. It shows family values and relationships spanning generations. And that is exactly the kind of wholesome ad that people love to see this Christmas season. An ad that will unite people in an otherwise currently divided climate.
It’s about family, holidays and memories with Chevrolet. — Male, 65
People showing up for others and general good feelings. — Female, 37
Almost all of the KPIs are good or excellent. See the full report →

Coca-Cola, Brazil

Coca-Cola absolutely killed it this Christmas with its family feast story. It is amongst the highest scores we have ever seen at Fastuna! What is the secret behind such success?
First of all, the creators understood just how important family and family gatherings involving all of the generations are valued in Brazilian culture. The respect and authority that the older generation holds over its offspring is shown in the playful interaction between the son and his late mother. The values resonated very well with the audience.
Yes, because Christmas is the family gathering and despite the fact that his mother is not with him, he dedicates Christmas to her and made a pie to remember her, just like it was every year, now he makes it with his family. — Male, 22
Exceptional performance on most of the KPIs. See the full report →

ALDI, Australia

Aldi shows an exaggerated but standard family dichotomy between pleasantries and tension this year, as two family members fight over 'who is nicer' - offering the last prawn. The ad scored above average according to standardized Fastuna norms. Majority found it funny.
Was a good laugh. Lots of action and absurd references. Quite clever. Took the Christmas argument to a new level. — Male, 30
However, there is room for improvement. The relevance and believability scores are dragging the desire to learn more and the purchase intent down. The action sequence took too much precedence over the main message of family and Christmas. As a result some viewers could not relate to it.
It feels unrealistic, drastic and just doesn’t do anything but annoy me. Christmas is about fun, family and good times, not the dramatics I see in the ad. — Female, 43
Takes too long to make the connection that its an ALDI Ad, just an odd ad with 2 women doing over the top kung fu moves. — Male, 61
Polarizing ad: half of the KPIs are above average, while the other half are below. See the full report →


It is interesting that John Lewis and Chevrolet took a traditionally emotional approach telling great stories, however, it hasn’t really translated into strong CTA as people were reluctant to try or buy from the brand. The question is, should Christmas ads be about engagement focusing on joy and spreading the Christmas spirit like John Lewis and Chevvy did and less so on sales? Or should they still generate a measurable CTA?
And what if some of the emotions the ads generate are negative, like in the Old Spice or Aldi ads, where people were annoyed at the two women having a shrimp battle?
In any case, we enjoyed all of the ads immensely and hope to see even more great creative work in the new year! Merry Christmas, our dear community from all of us here at Fastuna!
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