John Lewis Christmas ad achieves highest effectiveness score since 2020

This year’s Christmas ad featuring Snapper the Venus flytrap has achieved John Lewis’s highest effectiveness score since 2020, according to System1; however, the ad has failed to land in the top 10.

John Lewis’s Christmas ad has achieved the brand’s highest effectiveness score since its 2020 effort, according to data from System1.

However, the ad fails to make the top 10 in System1’s Christmas ad effectiveness rankings for 2023 to date, achieving 3.6 stars. System1 rates ads from one to 5.9 stars, a measure that predicts their potential to drive long-term brand growth and market share.

This year’s John Lewis Christmas ad scores 3.6 stars, which is deemed a “good” brand-building ad. While the brand has been firmly beaten in the effectiveness rankings by the likes of Aldi and M&S Food, which have both scored the maximum 5.9 stars this year, it is the best star rating achieved by a John Lewis Christmas ad since 2020.

Last year’s effort ‘The Beginner’ scored 3.3 stars on System1’s effectiveness scale. In 2021, ‘The Unexpected Guest’ achieved 3.1 stars. In 2020, the brand scored 4.4 stars with animated montage ‘Give A Little Love’.

The score for this year’s ad, which features a mischievous Venus flytrap and is soundtracked by Andrea Bocelli, is still well below the glories of 2019, when ‘Excitable Edgar’ scored the maximum 5.9 stars for the brand. However, as the first ad produced with new agency Saatchi and Saatchi, an improvement on the previous two years is a step in the right direction for the retailer.

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“John Lewis have landed outside the Top 10 this year,” comments System1 chief commercial officer Jon Evans, “But the public have responded well to the ad and they can still teach other brands a lot about taking risks, earning coverage and making your Christmas ad a real event.”

While, across all ads, just 1% of creative scores five stars or above, this year has already produced a strong selection of ads breaking the threshold, with the top ten all scoring five stars or more.

Three ads have now achieved the top possible score of 5.9 stars from System1, with Morrisons’ 2023 Christmas ad joining the ranks of M&S Food and Aldi.

The supermarket’s ad from Leo Burnett showcases its food in a comedic manner, with animated oven gloves singing Starship’s ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ as they serve up Christmas feasts.

Jon Evans terms the ad “beautifully simple”: “It goes to show you don’t need to make budget-busting epic stories at Christmas – sometimes all you need is one great idea, brilliantly done,” he says.

#1 Aldi 5.9 stars
#2 M&S Food 5.9 stars
#3 Morrisons 5.9 stars
#4 Lidl 5.8 stars
#5 Sainsbury’s 5.7 stars
#6 Vodafone 5.6 stars
#7 Duracell 5.4 stars
#8 Coca-Cola 5.3 stars
#9 Boots 5.3 stars
#10 TK Maxx 5.0 stars

Lidl, Duracell, and TK Maxx are other new entrants to the top 10 ads so far, scoring 5.8, 5.4 and 5.0 stars, respectively.

Major brands like Tesco are still due to release their ads later in the month. System1 will deliver a final top 10 later this month once those are out.