UK Christmas Ad Season has Begun!

The UK Christmas Ad season began on November 1st, as Currys PC World released three ads showing off the best new tech in store this year. The theme is members of staff taking the items home to try them out – and landing in amusing situations because of it.

According to our market research tools consistency of theme led to consistency of results – all three of the ads landed a 2-Star score: an average ad, nothing particularly special, with a balance of neutral and happy reactions. The most successful was the spot showcasing the LG OLED flat-screen TV, which scored the most Happiness (41%) – though its materialistic tone (with the parents spoofing the kids that they were having a tech-free Xmas) drew a bit of criticism from respondents.

Behind them, with almost identical scores, were ads showing off Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and the Apple Watch. With these the reaction was as much to the product as to the ad, with a certain amount of backlash against the Apple Watch and happy response to Bose driven by the appeal of a silent night!

2-Star ads aren’t likely to do much for the Currys PC World brand, and these spots are likely to end up as Christmas background noise. Could they have been made better? They’ve generated a lot of neutral response, and some of the problem is the way they end, with a cut back to the Currys PC World showroom and a reveal of the staffer in their working environment. This makes for a boring epilogue after each ad’s natural punchline.

But that’s the risk of the classic ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ approach, which seeks to balance product messaging and emotional impact. Too often the former dilutes the latter, and that’s what’s happened here. These ads won’t end up the best of the season, but at least they were first.

Keep updated with our weekly FeelMore50 UK Christmas Newsletter.

Written by Tom Ewing, Head of Communication, System1


At System1, we help the world’s largest advertisers make confident, creative decisions that lead to transformational business results. Our powerful ad testing platform (Test Your Ad) and our idea testing platform (Test Your Idea) help brands predict the commercial potential of ads and ideas. Complementing TYA and TYI is Test Your Brand, our brand tracking tool which measures the impact of ads and ideas on brand health, ensuring long-term brand growth through predictive success.
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