By: BAM Marketing On: December 04, 2014 In: Blog Comments: 0

What are your top 3 favourite Christmas Adverts?

You might say Coca-Cola, John Lewis or even Irn Bru are the greatest Christmas adverts of all time. But what do the 2014/15 student generation think?

With Marketing Week stating that the importance of Christmas advertising is growing every year, and 73% of our student respondents saying that Christmas TV adverts are the best at catching an audience’s eye, we present to you a breakdown of students’ top 3 Christmas Adverts from 2013.

#1: John Lewis

John Lewis’ official 2013 advert is renowned for encapsulating its audience, telling a story of a bear and hare’s quest to experience the magic and wonder of Christmas morning. Since its release, the advert received over 14 million views on YouTube, and the retailer saw sales totalling a whopping £734 million in the lead up to Christmas.

Where John Lewis seem to have succeeded was in their story. 53% of students prefer a story in an advert over other factors such as humour, celebrity appearances and music. The most successful Christmas adverts for students are those that focus their audience on a single idea, allowing them to form an emotional connection to the story. In addition, John Lewis’ supporting social media campaign played a key role in its success. It is a fact universally acknowledged that the 18-24 generation are increasingly social media minded. By integrating both online and offline channels, John Lewis succeeded in developing increased customer loyalty; especially with this target audience.

#2: Coca-Cola

Surprisingly not top of the tree, Coca-Cola’s 2013 Christmas advert continued a traditional theme, focusing on people coming together to enjoy the Christmas festivities whilst watch the Coca-Cola Christmas truck arrive in town. Not only was Coca-Cola’s advert first in our student respondents’ minds when asked to recall Christmas adverts, but the association of the brand’s colour was highlighted as the most fitting for Christmas advertising. It has been found that warm colours, especially red, are stimulating to the mind and make an advert more memorable; therefore increasing brand recognition by up to 80%.

#3: Marks & Spencer’s

Marks & Spencer’s 2013 Christmas advert was famous for following Rosie Huntington-Whitely as Alice, falling into a Wonderland of tasty food, luxury clothes and magical people. Students were keen to point out that the advert was noticeably more appealing to the younger generation; what with the iconic actors and slightly adolescent theme.

With this in mind, it appeared that Marks and Spencer used this as a deliberate ploy to engage a younger audience with their brand. With 51% of students stating that targeted Christmas adverts played a key role in encouraging sales, perhaps this was a factor towards Marks & Spencers’ success?

With 2014’s Christmas adverts well and truly underway, we’ll wait and see who the big winners and losers in this year’s advertising race! If you would like more information on how best target students, or the wider 16-24 yr old market this Christmas or New Year, please do get in touch.


Guest blogged by the University of Gloucestershire’s Marketing Society. A special thank you to Bethany Smith, Thi Nguyen, Kimberely Rogers, Hannah Reed, Elysha Brown, and Amber Pinkerton.