Do Christmas TV Adverts have an Impact on Customer Experience?

Sarah Beams

November 16, 2018

It’s that time of the year again as John Lewis kick start the Christmas season by releasing their Christmas Advert. Past years have seen Buster the Boxer and the Man on the Moon attempt to capture the nation’s imagination – and real-time sentiment analysis from Maru/edr revealed up to five times as many consumers were positive about both adverts than negative.

Whilst November may be too soon for some people, the Christmas ads are now out there and in line with previous years, the John Lewis effort takes centre stage. This year will be no different thanks to the big budget Elton John advert which might just be their most highly anticipated yet, but how have the public reacted and how will this ad improve their customer experience?

Consumers Are Eager to See it

So much so that the advert itself started to gain traction online on Wednesday 14 November (a day before it was even officially launched), with the leaked version widely available online and on social media. The anticipation is now a big part of the experience for consumers and they fully expect John Lewis to deliver a greater advert than their competitors.

Anticipation for the 2018 John Lewis Christmas advert grows

A Positive Reaction

Verbatim analysis of Twitter comments in the first hours after the adverts release online revealed an overall positive reaction from consumers – some even went as far as stating John Lewis was back to the ‘usual standard’ after two years of less emotive ads. 43% of comments captured in the first two hours of the advert’s launch were positive, with just 13% containing any negative sentiment at all.

Supporting Maru/edr’s agile results also uncovered a positive reaction from consumers – almost half (42%) said the advert made them feel ‘Christmassy’ while one in four (26%) stated they were ‘emotional’ after watching for the first time.

The Impact on Customer Experience

John Lewis’s efforts over the years have certainly marked the growing importance of Christmas advertising in the retail calendar. The anticipation online in the days before this year’s #EltonJohnLewis release certainly demonstrates that. But what impact are Christmas adverts truly having on the overall customer experience?

While we’ll have to wait a few more months to understand the financial impact this year’s effort may have on John Lewis’s trading, results from Maru/edr’s latest retail poll suggests just one in ten shoppers (9%) take a retailer’s Christmas advert efforts into account when shopping during the festive period.

Interestingly, over half (55%) cite the shopping and fulfilment experience as one of the main drivers of their Christmas purchase decisions. In fact, only product availability (59%) and price (60%) are more important to the consumer and arguably all are part of the customer experience that John Lewis have designed.

Key factors that influence Christmas shopping decisions

Does John Lewis have a Winning Formula?

Insight suggests that John Lewis has found a winning formula to the Christmas trading period – and their investment in 2018’s advert appears to have paid off, for now.

Results show sentiment and engagement with the retailer is high. Yet deeper analysis reveals a bigger impact on shopper behaviour than their competitor’s efforts – an impressive 24% of shoppers felt they would consider spending more with the department chain after seeing 2018’s Elton John biopic than previously planned compared to 87% who said watching rival’s adverts this year – including Debenhams and – hasn’t influenced who they will shop with this Christmas.