They are boldly challenging the more expensive High Street giants - and now Britain’s discount stores are winning the annual festive ads war, too.
Budget chain Aldi has this year’s most effective Xmas ad with 33 per cent of mums wanting to shop there after watching it, compared to just 31 per cent who said they’d visit John Lewis after viewing the firm’s lavish £7million ad.
Although John Lewis remains the nations’ favourite seasonal pick - loved by half of mums - the new research from Channel Mum reveals the store could be facing a backlash with 48 per cent saying the retailer spent too much money on the ad, and should have donated some of the extravagant cost to charity.
While 35 per cent of mums quizzed see the annual release of the John Lewis ad as the ‘official start of Christmas’, a sizeable quarter now feel there is ‘far too much hype’ about the ad and claim it turns them off shopping there.
Instead, cheap discount chains have seen a surge in Christmas cheer.
Aldi’s ‘Favourite Things’ ad was voted the nation’s second overall favourite after John Lewis, followed by rival Lidl’s ‘School of Christmas’. And Asda's fun-filled #becauseitschristmas campaign came fourth, followed by M&S’s stylish fashion-led ad.
Aldi’s advert was also crowned the most effective, influencing the buying decisions of 33 per cent of families, followed by John Lewis on 31 per cent, M&S with 25 per cent, and Boots at 20 per cent and Asda at 18 per cent. Discounter Lidl also scored well with 18 per cent of mums willing to visit the store after seeing its ad, and one in five voting it the funniest Xmas ad of 2015.
Furthermore the discounters were also loved by children this year. Price-slasher Argos was the kid’s favourite (31%) followed by 30 per cent for John Lewis, ten per cent who liked Asda best, seven per cent for Aldi and four per cent who voted for Lidl.
The up-to-the-minute research - conducted after the release of the final major festive ad from Sainsbury’s last night - revealed a whopping 81 per cent of mothers admit to crying at the festive adverts.
Top reasons for getting teary included ‘the ads make me think of others not as lucky as our family at Christmas’ (48%), ‘the ads make me want to reach out to my friends and family’ (33%) and ‘because the ads remind me of the true meaning of Christmas’ (28%).
And mums are adamant there is a set formula for successful Xmas ads, with two thirds (64%) wanting to see ‘families enjoying themselves’, followed by half (47%) who need a ‘Christmas tree with lots of decorations’, 43 per cent who want a ‘cosy house with a roaring fire’, and two in five who insist on ‘familiar Christmas music’. The UK’s mums were 40 per cent more likely to like an ad that doesn’t include store or product information, but instead one that gave them a ‘festive feeling’.
The report also found that while TV remains the most popular place to first see the seasonal commercials, a third of mums now re-watch their favourites on YouTube. And young ‘millennial’ mums under 30 go much further with 32 per cent discussing the ads on social media (compared to 28% of mums in general), a quarter (23%) sharing the ads on social media (compared to 17% of older mums) and one in ten even posting the ads on their own social media profiles (8%).
Siobhan Freegard, founder of Channel Mum, said: “Even at Christmas, cheap can be cheerful with the discounters winning mums’ hearts. The Aldi ad ticks every box for the perfect festive ad formula, while Argos has tapped into the excitement kids feel around Christmas. Lidl gave us all a laugh, while Asda has the tune getting everyone dancing.
“While the John Lewis ad still tugs at the heartstrings, a lot of families don’t like the ending with kids across the country asking why a rocket couldn’t have brought the man on the moon to Earth to enjoy the festivities.”
With so much riding on the Xmas ads each year, it will be interesting to see if the cheap discounters’ commercials boost sales more than the lavish productions from bigger names.
To watch the Gogglebox-style ‘Vloggerbox’ video revealing mums’ reactions to the festive ads, visit http://bit.ly/XmasADSCM
The nation’s favourite 2015 Xmas adverts
1) John Lewis
11) TK Maxx
Most effective Xmas adverts for making families want to shop
2) John Lewis
13) TK Maxx