Thought Leadership

Who won Christmas hearts?

Ten retailers. Ten festive adverts. One almighty battle for the hearts and minds of the nation.

Simon Long, Intermarketing Agency

Executive Creative Director


Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year. If you get your ad right. For many, Christmas starts long before putting a turkey in the oven or pulling a cracker. Instead, it’s when the much-anticipated Christmas ads hit the TV screens that the season really begins. And with all the big TV ads now released, the talk is around ‘Who won Christmas?’

We’re all aware of the emotional marketing tactics that retailers use to get hearts beating or pulses racing. This year we’ve seen a left-turn from seasonal stalwarts John Lewis, arguments over the inclusion of Yorkshire puddings on the Christmas dinner table and an unlikely, if somewhat controversial, hero in the shape of Plug Boy. Sure, they can measure increased footfall and sales – but what about emotional impact?

Whilst marketers argue and journalists fill column inches about which one has risen above the competition and ‘won Christmas’, we often forget that the ads aren’t created for us.To truly measure success, we need to look to the public to answer the real question; ‘Who won Christmas hearts?’

That’s why we’ve taken a different approach and brought some objectivity to the discussion, by setting up the Xmas Advert Adorescore. An online-tracker that allows us to watch the emotional reactions to 10 Christmas ads played out across social channels throughout the UK.  

From joy-generators to fury-inflamers. Delight-ticklers to despair-raisers, we’ve measured how the festive ads are making people feel, what emotions are being triggered and more importantly, what can we learn from this?

As we say goodbye to 2018 and look around the curve to the year ahead, it’s clear that measurement contributions are becoming more relevant in modern marketing. But despite all the technical innovations, there is still a requirement for human emotion when it comes to connecting with each other. 

Brands that combine data and emotion in their marketing efforts will not just ‘win Christmas’ but also win the hearts and minds of the audience in 2019 and beyond. 


Visit Intermarketing's showcase to read the full report.

Guest Author

Simon Long, Intermarketing Agency

Executive Creative Director,


Simon has now got nearly two decades of experience in the creative industry. To him it sounds better than 17 years. During this time he has worked for some of London's best agencies, from international to independent, creating campaigns for several of the World's most respected brands such as Porsche, Chanel, Jack Daniel’s, Samsung and NatWest to name a few. Simon lives in London with two children so away from work has literally no hobbies or interests.

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