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Sainsburys tops John Lewis in Christmas ad online showdown

14 January 2015 - 10:19 by Simon Crisp

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Figures published by Google have revealed that the race to be the UK’s top retailer in the run-up to Christmas 2014, at least in terms of marketing reach, was won by Sainsbury’s.

The firm published a list of the 10 most-viewed ads on YouTube last year, in which Sainsbury’s festive promo, featuring a re-enactment of the Christmas Truce that occurred during the First World War, took first place. This put it ahead of John Lewis and its own Christmas ad, an emotive tale involving a penguin called Monty.

John Lewis has managed to drum up lots of attention over the last half-decade with its increasingly elaborate Christmas ad campaigns. And the internet has helped to enhance the impact, with people sharing the videos and discussing them, which in turn, leads to more sales online.

But 2014 seems to be the year in which John Lewis was finally bettered by a rival, even if some were critical of Sainsbury’s for depicting a real life event and reimagining it, in order to help sell groceries.

Other entrants in the list included a pair of Nike’s popular football campaigns, in addition to Marks & Spencer in seventh place, with its Follow the Fairies promo.

Between all of the top 10 ads, a total of 330 million views were recorded on YouTube alone. This service and others like it are ideal for advertising, allowing customers to click through from an ad and get straight into a session of safe shopping online with the retailer in question and it seems like competition will be even stronger in 2015.

The use of hashtags has also been important in the past 12 months, with advertisers peppering campaigns with sharable phrases which helps with social media penetration.