Christmas TV ads: the good, the bad and the emotional

We found out which elements make a great Christmas advert, and what it takes to bring viewers to tears. Here's the full results of our survey. 

family watching tv christmas


From this shortlist of memorable Christmas ads (some loved, others not so much) which is your all-time favourite?

Answer options Response percent
Coca-Cola 1993 - Holidays are coming 22%
John Lewis 2011 - The Long Wait 15%
John Lewis 2013 - The Bear and the Hare 11%
John Lewis 2014 - Monty The Penguin 11%
Sainsbury’s 2014 - World War 1 7%
Irn Bru 2006 - The Snowman 5%
Yellow Pages 1992 - kiss under the mistletoe 5%
Boots 2014 - #SpecialBecause (nurse coming home to her family) 3%
OXO 1984 - "And Mummy…. Mummy made the gravy." 3%
The Famous Grouse 1995 - the famous grouse 2%
M&S 2014 - magic & sparkle 2%
Boots 2013 - Small Town Boy 1%
Asda 2012 - Behind every great Christmas, there's mum 1%
Woolworth’s 1981 - Have A Cracking Christmas 1%
Hellman’s 1992 - 12 days of Christmas 0%
Littlewoods 2014 - Myleene Klass as Santa’s helper 0%
None of these / don't know 6%
None at all - don't like Christmas TV ads at all 5%


Do you look forward to the annual flurry of Christmas TV ads?

Answer options Response percent
Yes 65%
No 28%
Don't know 7%

If yes - why do you look forward to Christmas TV ads? (All that apply)

Answer options Response percent
They get me in the mood for Christmas 81%
They signal the start of the Christmas season 74%
I enjoy watching them 66%
They tend to be great ads 43%
My children enjoy watching them 37%
They give me ideas for Christmas presents and food shopping 29%
They remind me to start planning Christmas 17%
They remind me of brands/shops I wouldn't normally look at / visit / consider 13%
My partner enjoys watching them 8%
Other 3%
Other reasons include: the conversations that happen around the ads - in real life and on social media; nostalgia and memories they evoke of past Christmases, loved ones etc; they are a British institution, part of our culture, representative of the time.

Has a Christmas TV ad ever moved you to tears?

Answer options Response percent
Yes 51%
No 47%
Don't know 2%

If yes - which TV ad moved you to tears (most recently if more than one)?

Answer options Response percent
John Lewis 2014 - Monty The Penguin 28%
Sainsbury’s 2014 - World War 1 23%
John Lewis 2013 - The Bear and the Hare 18%
John Lewis 2011 - The Long Wait 15%
Boots 2014 - #SpecialBecause (nurse coming home to her family) 6%
Irn Bru 2006 - The Snowman 1%
Boots 2013 - Small Town Boy 1%
Asda 2012 - Behind every great Christmas, there's mum 1%
Other 7%

Thinking about your favourite Christmas TV ads, which of these elements are essential to you? (Top three)

Answer options Response percent
Great music 50%
A quirky take on what Christmas is all about 29%
Magic 27%
Snow 26%
A nostalgic storyline 25%
A twist or element of surprise 25%
Humour 23%
A tear-jerking story 17%
Father Christmas 10%
Sleigh bells on the soundtrack 9%
Realism about all the effort needed to create a great Christmas day 8%
A cute animal 7%
A cute child 6%
Animation 3%
Reindeer 3%
Piles of presents 2%
A famous cast 1%
Elves 1%
Other 5%

Survey of 1089 Mumsnet users in the UK. Conducted in October 2015.

2015 tv ads
Monty the penguin
Miracle on 34th Street film
This year's TV adverts Why we love Christmas ads Top festive family films


 

Last updated: 6 months ago