Christmas adverts 2015: Sainsbury’s Mog the cat beats John Lewis’ Man on the Moon on YouTube ranking

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Sainsbury’s has triumphed over John Lewis in the battle of the Christmas adverts.

That is, when it comes to YouTube views*. It will be a few weeks yet until we see which campaigns paid off on sales.

Sainsbury’s Mog’s Christmas Calamity racked up nearly 26 million views on YouTube, ahead of the almost 23 million John Lewis achieved, despite being released a week later.

Other winners included Aldi, which fared better with its John Lewis spoof than its official festive commercial.

Tesco may be feeling the flattest with just a few days to go until December 25, as its series of four ads starring Ruth Jones and Ben Miller got an average of around 600,000 views each.

Here’s how eight (Sainsbury’s, Asda, John Lewis, Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Waitrose and M&S) of the major retailers fared from worst to best performer:

8. Asda – 341,276

Despite being one of the first released and its up-to-the-minute soundtrack courtesy of X Factor runner-up Fleur East, Asda’s #becauseitsChristmas ad – a montage of familiar Christmas scenes including watching the Snowman and over the top Christmas lights – racked up the least amount of YouTube views.

7. Lidl – 520,310

It went early – 54 days before the big day – but its “School of Christmas” couldn’t quite build momentum.

The German discounter also went very British with its ad, exploring the often stressful components of an at-home celebration: cooking the turkey, reacting to Christmas gifts and the tangled mess of fairy lights.

It may have only placed seventh but it won a celebrity fan in columnist Grace Dent, who called it a “veritable Christmas Cracker”.

6. Aldi – 581,997

Released on the same day as Lidl, fellow German supermarket Aldi borrowed a Sound of Music tune for its advert, called #AldiFavouriteThings.

It listed reindeer on rooftops and brandy cream pouring, bright coloured stockings and open fires roaring among its favourite things, showing off its Christmas wares, including foil wrapped Chocolate Santas and champagne in the process.

Despite all that effort, its off-the-cuff spoof of John Lewis’ Man on the Moon ad performed far better. See where that ended up below.

5. Tesco – (average of four Christmas commercials) 662,230

Tesco drafted in Ruth Jones and Ben Miller for its series of Christmas adverts, which each followed Mum and Dad (Jones and Miller) and their adult son shopping for festive supplies.

All four had different themes – the gluten-free Christmas, the Tesco Finest range, the party food shop and the final shop.

Tesco Finest scored the best, though insight firm ICM Unlimited suggested some viewers were left “puzzled” by the advert.

(Aldi’s John Lewis spoof advert – 2,063,224)

Aldi has snuck in again thanks to some quick thinking that helped it achieve something of marketing coup.

Piggybacking on John Lewis’ high profile Man on the Moon advert, Aldi put together a 30-second commercial for its ‘Special Buys’ range that compared the price of a John Lewis telescope to a similar item from Aldi.

The price differential – £109.95 for John Lewis’ and £69.99 for its own – was put centre stage in the cheeking marketing stunt.

3. M&S – 2,542,241

M&S tried to teach us all about the art of Christmas in its advert, which featured its clothing ranges, homeware and food products.

It had the help of some glitter covered trampolines and stylish special effects, plus Uptown Funk as its soundtrack, but failed to get close to rival John Lewis, which released its Man on the Moon ad on the same day.

2. John Lewis – 22,981,243

Easily the most talked about Christmas advert in the run-up to its release has done what most people would have thought impossible and come second.

The department store again went down the emotional route with the tale of six-year-old Lily, who spots the Man on the Moon in her telescope.

As is tradition, the soundtrack was a cover – a pared back version of Oasis’s ‘Half the World Away’ sung by 19-year-old Norwegian Aurora Aksnes – which played over Lily’s attempt to reach the Man.

The tear-jerking story cost £1 million to produce and was part of a £7 million promotional campaign, but it couldn’t quite match the impact of the winner, which was…

1. Sainsbury’s – 25,876,630

Released almost a week later, Sainsbury’s still managed to beat favourite John Lewis with its ad, Mog’s Christmas Calamity.

The commercial, which revives one of the country’s most beloved children’s book characters, was an instant hit online, with people calling its triumph over John Lewis early in the season.

The supermarket has been tight-lipped on its cost, but it drafted in Oscar winner Emma Thompson to voice the story of Mog the clumsy cat’s Christmas misadventure.

Sainsbury’s made the most of its success by selling special edition Mog’s Christmas Calamity books and toys.

*As of 12pm, December 21.

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December 21, 2015 |
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