M&S Christmas campaign clobbers competition
January 10th, 2024, Clifton Mark

M&S Christmas campaign clobbers competition

The holidays are a time of intensified spending and therefore a time of intensified advertising. Which of Britain’s supermarkets won consumers’ scarce attention?

The table below shows the top ten supermarkets by Advertising Awareness, a measure of how many consumers have seen an ad for a given brand in the prior fortnight, with data collected from 1 November to 25 December. The data comes from YouGov BrandIndex - a daily brand tracker that measures consumer perceptions towards brands and companies. BrandIndex features YouGov's Christmas campaign tracker which highlights the best and worst brands over the festive period.

During the holiday period, from November 1 until Christmas Day, nearly half of Britons (47%) saw ads for Marks & Spencer, the clear leader of the holiday period. The brand's Christmas food ad featured Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney as a pair of lost mittens and Dawn French as a festive fairy.

M&S’s big lead in Ad Awareness is likely due to holiday season campaigning since it lagged behind Tesco and Aldi on this metric at the end of Autumn. However, between November 1 and Christmas, M&S doubled its Ad Awareness from a low of 26% to a peak of 50% just before Christmas. Aldi and Tesco also saw significant gains in Ad Awareness, each rising 10 points, but the rise was not as precipitous as that of M&S.

Does reach improve consideration? 

Did this holiday advertising translate into sales for these supermarkets? The record is mixed. Consideration is a measure of how many people would consider a brand when they’re in the market for their type of products. Aldi’s Consideration score slipped slightly, from 47% on November 1 to 45% on Christmas. Tesco’s Consideration score was also relatively stable, fluctuating around it’s starting point of 54% and reaching a high of 56%.

The M&S Christmas campaign was apparently a big success by this measure because the brand’s big gains in Ad Awareness were accompanied by big gains in Consideration. From a low point of 31% on November 9, Consideration for M&S rose seven points to a peak of 38%. While this score remains lower than Tesco’s and Aldi’s, M&S had by far the greatest improvement over the holiday season.

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Methodology: YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. Data from surveys of adults aged 18 years and above residing in the United Kingdom from November 1, 2023 and December 25, 2023. Ad Awareness scores are based on a four-week moving average. The change in scores for each brand is calculated by taking the difference between the highest and lowest scoring days within the period. Learn more about BrandIndex.