John Lewis Takes on Iceland in the Battle for UK Christmas Ad Views & Engagements

John Lewis Takes on Iceland in the Battle for UK Christmas Ad Views & Engagements

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Two weeks ago we revealed how UK brand Iceland saw a staggering 8000% increase in online views after publishing their ‘banned’ Christmas TV ad, outcompeting the other UK supermarket giants in the process. But there’s an elephant in the room – namely the UK heavyweight champion of Christmas ads – John Lewis.

Every year, UK brands battle to tell the most emotive, tear-jerking, or laughter-inducing ads their marketing budgets will allow for. And for as long as we can remember, John Lewis has emerged from that battle unscathed and having kept it’s crown. So this year in the run up to Christmas 2018 – what’s the story?

Christmas Content: Most Viewed UK Brands

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Christmas video views for most viewed UK brands 1-30 November 2018. All data via Tubular Labs.

In November we measured no less than 55K+ Christmas videos uploaded by UK brands. Historic high performer John Lewis once again secures the top spot with the brilliant #EltonJohnLewis, but this year, there’s serious competition. Iceland especially are hot on their heels with their banned TV ad #NoPalmOilChristmas – more details here. Finishing the podium are Aldi‘s adventures of ‘Kevin The Carrot’, one video sporting a familiar Christmas lorry (albeit in orange).

Earned Media Value (with OMD Social Intelligence)

Looking beyond owned to earned, our partners OMD reveal that in November John Lewis generated a whopping £1.6M* in earned media value, with a total of 43M earned views from media coverage and re-uploads. Meanwhile Iceland generated an additional 21.6M earned views estimated at a value of £843K*. *Based on a £0.04 CPV.

Most Viewed Christmas Ads on YouTube

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Most viewed UK Christmas ads on YouTube 1-30 November 2018. All data via Tubular Labs. *V3 measures video views achieved in the first three days after upload. With V3 it’s easy to see what was most popular, even with different upload dates.

Our round up of the top ads on YouTube features a supermarket sweep of the top 4, with #EltonJohnLewis with the highest V3*, despite not hitting the heights of previous years. Iceland continues the impressive reach onto YouTube, and Aldi hang on to 3rd. Sainsbury‘s Big Night (created by some Big Names, including Greatest Showman director, Michael Gracy) makes a big splash, while Heathrow Airport lands 5th.

Most Viewed Christmas Ads on Facebook

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Most viewed UK Christmas ads on Facebook 1-30 November 2018. All data via Tubular Labs. *ER3 measures engagements in the first three days, compared to the platform average

Similar names on Facebook and YouTube at the start of the campaign, with Iceland and John Lewis proving huge winners when comparing V3 scores. Argos also feature, though with a much lower ER3* scores, suggesting less organic reach. But beyond reach, which UK brands have the most engaging Christmas ads this year on YouTube and Facebook? Here are the results so far:

Christmas Content: Most Engaging UK Brands

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Most engaging UK Christmas ads on YouTube 1 November – 3 December 2018. All data via Tubular Labs.

On YouTube, the heavyweight champion of Christmas ads John Lewis secures the top spot with #EltonJohnLewis, defending their title against challenger Iceland. Meanwhile on Facebook, Iceland serve their revenge ice cold, with their compelling banned ‘Rang-tan‘ ad winning the top spot.

Next up is Aldi whose ‘Kevin the Carrot‘ sparked conversation across the board, and Sainsbury’s, whose ad ‘The Big Night‘ raised the bar for school nativities nationwide.

Lo and behold, there are also many notable non-supermarket brands winning the battle to engage viewers this Christmas, including global brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Apple – online retailers such as boohoo.com, PrettyLittleThing.com and Want That Trend – as well as others including English Heritage and Heathrow Airport.

Most Engaging Christmas Ads on YouTube

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Most engaging UK Christmas ads on YouTube 1 November – 3 December 2018. All data via Tubular Labs. *ER3 measures engagements in the first three days, compared to the platform average.

Our round up of the top ads on YouTube features a tech top two, with Apple and Amazon leading ER3* – Apple’s ‘Share your Gifts‘ an impressive 6.6x more engaging than the YouTube average.

McDonald’s #ReindeerReady is also proving to be a hit, pipping Cadbury’s Secret Santa creative to third. Meanwhile, Iceland’s ‘Rang-tan‘ hangs on at 5th, all the more impressive when you compare its larger reach at over double Cadburys.

Most Engaging Christmas Ads on Facebook

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Most engaging UK Christmas ads on Facebook 1 November – 3 December 2018. All data via Tubular Labs. *ER3 measures engagements in the first three days, compared to the platform average.

On Facebook, Iceland’s ‘Rang-tan‘ is king of the castle, driving an impressive 688K shares, which make up over a third of its total engagements.

Coca Cola’s iconic truck overtakes Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot by playing the nostalgia card, while Barbour ran with The Snowman for a third year in a row, proving (along with Coke) that if it ain’t broke…

Rounding off the top five is John Lewis’ #EltonJohnLewis – similar to Iceland seeing more shares than any other type of engagement.

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