The annual release of the UK Christmas ads has become as anticipated as the Super Bowl ads in the US.

Retailers spend thousands, if not millions of pounds to capture the hearts of the British people. Advertisers from Harrods to John Lewis set out to engage audiences with their creative offerings while simultaneously enticing them to purchase holiday gifts at their stores. While last year’s films centred on “sadvertising,” 2016 marked the return to humour. It’s been a difficult year and there is no better way to raise the country’s spirits than with funny, heart-warming ads.

According to BrainJuicer’s FeelMore™ UK XMAS ranking, the most emotional adverts this season were M&S’s “With Love from Mrs. Claus,” John Lewis’s “Buster the Boxer,” and Waitrose’s “Home for Christmas.” All three were 4-star ads and used emotion to build up the brand’s unique assets. Other notable ads were Aldi’s “Kevin the Carrot” and Heathrow Airport’s “Coming Home for Christmas.” In addition to creating strong, emotional work, these brands created mascots that helped connect the television spots and in-store merchandise. Some other themes that emerged among this year’s top ads were patriotism and fantastic, animated stories. With the difficulties of null, viewers were engaged with films that caught the national mood and provided a bit of an escape from reality, such as in Harrods’s “A Very British Bear Tale”.

Our ad-testing method has shown us that if you feel nothing, you’ll do nothing. If you feel more, you’ll buy more. These top UK Christmas adverts have demonstrated that strong emotional appeals are the way to increase sales and are a great representation of System1 Agency’s model of creating emotional work that results in long term brand growth.

To get inspired to create great emotional work, check out BrainJuicer’s FeelMore UK XMAS adverts of 2016.

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