Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad steals crown in festive #adtest

It’s been 100 years since Coca-Cola's first Christmas ad. Find out what the British public think of the brand's heartwarming 2020 festive campaign.

It’s been 100 years since Coca-Cola ran their first Christmas ad. To mark the occasion, Coca-Cola has created a film that “celebrates the real magic of Christmas” – being with loved ones. 

The beverage giant hopes to uplift and unite people, at a time when many of us can’t actually be together (Coca-Cola has also been forced to cancel their annual truck tour due to coronavirus restrictions).

The ad, which sees a dad embark on an epic journey to deliver his daughter’s letter to Santa, is one of many that seek to pull at the heartstrings this festive season. We’ve been putting a different Christmas ad to the test each week. In our third and final festive #AdTest, we’ll look at how this creative from Coke compares to ads from Lego and Amazon

Coca-Cola’s 2020 Christmas ad ‘The Letter’

Called ‘The Letter’, Coca-Cola’s global Christmas campaign asks consumers to “give something only you can give – yourself” and is created by Wieden+Kennedy London. The ad, being shown globally in 91 markets, also runs alongside Coca-Cola’s ‘Holidays Are Coming’ advert.

Kris Robbens, Marketing Director for Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: “This year, the Christmas season is set to be more meaningful than ever before. As a company, Coca-Cola has been celebrating the festive season through our advertising since the 1920s, featuring uplifting messages of unity and joy.

“Our new advert reflects the real magic of Christmas – our greater appreciation for loved ones, a sense of community and our need to be present with each other this Christmas, above all else.”

What do Brits think of Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad?

Do Brits love, like, dislike or hate Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad? Creative testing can tell us! Using the Attest platform, we asked 250 UK consumers to watch it and tell us how they felt.

‘The Letter’ produced a stronger reaction than any of the three Christmas ads we previously tested. Nearly 60% of people said they “love it”, in comparison to the 44% of Brits who loved Lego’s ad and the 43% who loved Amazon’s. 

Despite this, Coke’s ad is narrowly beaten by Lego when it comes to having the most positive sentiment overall. A further 23% of Brits said they “liked” the ad, giving it a total positive score of 83%.

In their own words

We wanted to know what it is about Coca-Cola’s festive ad that UK consumers loved, so we asked them to tell us in their own words. Many people agreed that the ad made them appreciate their family and think about the special love between parents and children. They also liked that the film had a very ‘Christmassy’ feel. 

Coke Christmas ad 2020 positive sentiment

Coke’s Christmas ad did have some detractors (8%) and some viewers who didn’t feel strongly about it one way or the other (9%). The feedback they gave was that it was a bit cheesy and trying too hard to pull on the heartstrings. Interestingly, people also criticised the ad for not featuring the product.

Coke Christmas ad 2020 negative sentiment

What’s the impact of Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad on its brand? 

Coke’s ad succeeded in stirring emotions, but has it changed the way people feel about Coke? According to our data, it’s had a big positive impact. Nearly 37% of UK consumers say they feel more connected to Coca-Cola after watching the advert, and 37.5% feel more trust towards the brand. What’s more, following the touching dad and daughter story, almost 14% of people feel more loyalty towards Coke. On the other hand, a total of 17% of viewers say they feel more negatively towards the brand now.

How has Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad changed purchase intent? 

As some viewers pointed out, ‘The Letter’ is not an overt advert for Coca-Cola, noticeably missing people cracking open and guzzling cans of the drink. By taking a more subtle approach, Coke are presumably hoping to associate their brand with wholesome family values. But what impact does this lack of product-focus have on purchase intent?

We found that, out of the three Christmas adverts we tested, Coca-Cola’s is the one most likely to drive consumers to the shops. Almost 58% of people who watched the ad said they are more likely to purchase Coke this Christmas (including 30% who are much more likely). Only 4.8% of people said they were less likely to buy Coke at Christmas, while purchase intent remained unchanged for 38% of viewers.  

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Bel Booker

Senior Content Writer 

Bel has a background in newspaper and magazine journalism but loves to geek-out with Attest consumer data to write in-depth reports. Inherently nosy, she's endlessly excited to pose questions to Attest's audience of 125 million global consumers. She also likes cake.

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