The British Public used to know it was Christmas when the Coca-Cola advert came on TV. Now we know it’s Christmas when the John Lewis ad is aired, or, of late maybe the Sainsbury’s ad – Remember the game of football during World War Two? Not everyone supported it, some found it cynical, but most enjoyed it immensely.
Our recent obsession with the supermarket Christmas ads started in 2011 when John Lewis launched the ‘Long Wait’. A boy is eagerly waiting for Christmas Day. We’re to think that he wants his presents. He then surprises us by being eager to give his present to his Mum and Dad. Since then the supermarkets have fought for the best Christmas ad. Though in 2013 John Lewis was still the clear winner with over 5m Youtube views, Sainsbury’s achieving a mere 1.2m and Tesco only 850k. The rest seems not to have bothered, apart from hiring Ant & Dec.
We spend over £3bn at Christmas and with many British shoppers shopping in more than one supermarket through the year, the Christmas period is an opportunity for the supermarkets to entice us further into their stores, or onto their websites. And the Christmas advert plays a key role in persuading us where to shop for our festive goodies.
Who won the war in 2014?
In 2014 the entire race stepped-up another gear. Sainsbury’s aired their World War Two ad achieving over 6.7m views in the first 3 days and has now racked-up an impressive 17.2m views on Youtube with 800k shares. In comparison Tesco achieved a very paltry 0.9m, with Morrisons and Asda at about 50k each. You would have expected Sainsbury’s to have hailed victory. Unfortunately for them John Lewis pulled-out its best ever ad making its success so far seem like just a training session. Monty the Penguin achieved 4.5m views on the day it aired, 14m in the first week, and is now at 23.6m views on Youtube with 572k shares.
Who will win in 2015?
The forecast for this Christmas is an even tougher fight. Can Sainsbury’s do it again? Will John Lewis continue their good fortune for a fourth year? Will Tesco, Morrison’s and Asda decide join the fight? Our prediction is for Sainsbury’s to do it again with an equally fantastic ad, combined with their greater reach on Facebook and their Nectar card, they may just be the ones putting their feet-up on Christmas Day with a well deserved mince pie.
Darren A. Smith, Founder of Making Business Matter wrote this article for http://fmcgnews.co.uk. He spent 12 years as a Category Manager/Trading Manager for one of the big four UK supermarkets and now manages Making Business Matter (MBM). MBM is a training provider specialising in Suppliers to the big four UK supermarkets using their unique method of Sticky Learning ®, they invite you to be trained in Category Management Training.