Friday, 31 October 2014


Christmas and celebrities make a potent ad cocktail

Do Christmas TV ads perform better for brands than their non-Christmas ones? It seems not. Looking at every advertiser that has aired both seasonal and non-seasonal ads this year on the UK's principal TV channels, we found that, across the board, there's little difference between the recall and likeability of both groups of ads.

Add celebrities in to the mix, however, and the whole picture changes.

While using celebrities in TV ads doesn't automatically improve recall and likeability, celebrities do seem to improve the ad performance of brands that have aired both Christmas and non-Christmas creative during the year.

Of all the non-Christmas spots from these 'year-round' advertisers, ads that feature celebrities are recalled 14% more by viewers than ads that don't. They're also 29% more liked.

For Christmas ads, the 'celebrity boost' is even more impressive.

Festive celeb ads shown up to this December are being recalled 36% more, and liked 100% more, than festive ads without celebs.

What's more, it's particularly women - the primary target for many seasonal campaigns - who have a soft spot for celebrity-driven ads, liking them 42% more than men do.

The star-performing celeb ads so far this Christmas (based on October and November data) are all from retailers. Marks & Spencer's spot, with the end-line "Don't put a foot wrong this Christmas", is currently both the most-recalled and most-liked Christmas celebrity ad on TV. It mixes broad appeal and humour, featuring Twiggy, Dannii, Jamie Redknapp, Peter Kay and Lisa Snowdon.

One of the Iceland spots featuring Jason Donovan is the secondmost recalled and second-most liked seasonal celebrity ad. Tesco's ad featuring Amanda Holden is the third-most recalled, while Heston Blumenthal's Waitrose spot is the third-most liked.

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