Christmas adverts ranked: Which brand won the top spot for the best festive ad of 2019?

Rebecca Speare-Cole
Edgar, star of the new John Lewis Christmas advert

From fire-breathing baby dragons to time-travelling delivery vans, this year's best Christmas adverts have been ranked according to how brands won hearts on social media.

Tesco bagged the top spot for 2019 after its heartwarming Christmas advert prompted waves of online chatter, research from global data science company 4C found.

Its festive film depicts a delivery van driver, who gets accidently transported back in time to the last century.

He then drives around the UK, handing out "food from the future" to all sorts of different people, including Winston Churchill and the Queen.

The supermarket chain saw social engagement soar by a staggering average of 146 per cent in the first five minutes after its commercial aired each time on TV, the research showed.

Morrisons came in second place with its compilation of bird's-eye-view food shots, which played off the popularity of "food porn" social posts. The brand saw a 137 per cent rise in engagement.

Top 10 Christmas Ads in the UK

1. Tesco: 146 per cent
2. Morrisons: 137 per cent
3. John Lewis & Partners: 122 per cent
4. Coca-Cola: 116 per cent
5. Iceland: 116 per cent
6. Marks & Spencer: 114 per cent
7. Very: 109 per cent
8. Ikea: 91 per cent
9. Lidl: 83 per cent
10. Sainsbury's: 83 per cent

Although the John Lewis Christmas adverts have become festive season favourites to viewers around the UK, this year it ranked third with an average of 122 per cent.

The department store giant took a bold step with its first collaborated campaign with Waitrose & Partners, starring the baby dragon "Excitable Edgar". It even came with a custom-made Edgar Snapchat lens.

This year, nostalgic adverts performed particularly well by drawing on consumer desires to take a trip down memory lane, the research showed.

Sainsbury’s played on their humble beginnings to celebrate 150 years of history, with a film depicting Dickensian London – experiencing an average of 83 per cent lift in social engagement.

Despite coming in at number nine for engagement lift, Lidl tops the rankings for social sentiment, meaning 78 per cent of comments were positive, according to 4C's research.

Other brands which made the top 10 included Iceland, Coca-cola and Very.

The third annual Top 10 Christmas Ad Rankings, compiled by marketing technology company 4C, used AI to determine which ads resonated the most with consumers beyond the initial premiere.

Aaron Goldman CMO at 4C said: "Our artificial intelligence gauges consumer behaviours by measuring tangible actions driven by ads. This approach gives a more complete picture of whether campaigns are effectively resonating across channels and ultimately will lead to sales.

"This year’s ads reflect the simple truth that you don’t need huge budgets to engage deeply with consumers. For Christmas ads to go beyond the initial hype, a multi-screen approach is key."

"Cross-channel video strategy is something John Lewis & Partners, Lidl, and Coca-Cola in particular have nailed this year, with TV, social, and physical deployment of their content.”

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