Staff Reporters
Dec 21, 2021

Holiday ads from Coca-Cola, Ikea, Disney score highest: Unruly

In a significant shift from the pandemic focus of campaigns in 2020, brands tried to boost consumer sentiment. The above-named brands succeeded more than most, according to research by Unruly.

Holiday ads from Coca-Cola, Ikea, Disney score highest: Unruly

Across key markets in APAC, holiday advertising by brands tried to boost consumer sentiment and "uplift spirits" in 2021, compared to a more low-key vibe in 2020, where messaging was centred around safety from the pandemic, according to programmatic platform Unruly.

Coca-Cola’s Chimney, Disney’s short The Stepdad, and Ikea’s Smile, your special table is set videos evoked the most emotional responses among holiday ads in Australia, the Philippines and Singapore, the company reports.

Unruly analysed the emotional responses of consumers around the world to over 50 global festive ads released this year. Approximately 9,700 consumers around the world—including 2,600 in Australia, 800 in the Philippines and 400 in Singapore—took part in the study.

According to data recorded using the Unruly EQ content testing tool, the best performing ads scored higher than the norm in their markets for attributes such as inspiration, happiness and warmth, with the latter two being especially strong. Brands tended to shy away from hilarity and sadness.

As brands sought to improve sentiment, a key lever used was nostalgia, with 11 of the top ads globally throwing back to the good times. "No longer explicitly acknowledging the pandemic, brands and advertisers have tried to tap on emotions from the ‘better times of the past’ by incorporating elements of nostalgia,” said Greg Fournier, senior vice president of global strategy at Unruly.

In addition, four ads used animation, pointing to growing adoption of this format in the industry. Fournier said animation allowed brands and consumers an "imaginative way to escape reality, especially for children and families. Even for adults, animations ground us all in holidays’ past, fuelling the reminiscence of times that were simpler.”

You can see complete lists of the top-rated ads in each market here.

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