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Google Trends: Christmas 2018’s Most Popular TV Adverts Based on Search Rankings

Thursday, December 6th, 2018


What signals the beginning of Christmas for you? Perhaps it’s the iconic Coca-Cola ‘Holidays are Coming’ Christmas advert that marks the start of the Christmas period for your household, or perhaps you believe the debut of the annual John Lewis Christmas advert really kick-starts festivities. No matter what indicates that Christmas is coming for you, it’s undeniable that Christmas TV adverts have joined the list of essential elements of Christmas in the UK. Audiences can’t help but notice the competition between brands to have the most emotional, viral-worthy advert. We’re nearly into December now and over the past few weeks there have been a barrage of funny, emotional, and thought-stirring adverts to feast our eyes on. So, we present to you the most popular Christmas Adverts of 2018, based on search rankings using Google Trends.

1. John Lewis

Unsurprisingly to some, John Lewis dominates the search rankings for ‘Christmas advert’. 8/10 of the top queries relate to the John Lewis advert, showing the anticipation and awareness of the annual John Lewis advert. Overall the ad features in search queries features 13 times in the top 25 search queries for ‘Christmas advert’.

2. Iceland

Be honest, you probably can’t remember what Iceland’s 2017 Christmas Advert was. But Iceland’s 2018 advert could be remembered for years to come. Featuring five times in the top 25 queries, and the first branded search query to appear after John Lewis, this year’s Iceland advert has clearly gripped the hearts of the nation (as well as interest, likely wanting to know more about why the ad was banned).

3. Sainsbury's

Coming in as the third brand to be searched after John Lewis and Iceland, this years Sainsbury’s advert has interested people for having the emotional and cute element, and it’s personally one of my favourites too (highlight is the boy dressed as a plug jumping into the socket).

4. Aldi

Coming in after Sainsbury’s, Aldi has done an incredible job of building up a story, and expectation, to feature Kevin the Carrot each year. Search terms for the Aldi Christmas advert appear twice in the top search terms.

5. Boots

Boots receives a small recognition with one search query in the charts, featuring just after the Aldi Christmas advert.

6. Coca-Cola

Coming in at 24th of the 25 search queries, the Coca-Cola advert has a minimal amount of interest particularly when you consider how iconic the advert is perceived by many people. This is likely due to the fact the now-traditional advert doesn’t change year-on-year, and therefore there’s nothing new and exciting for people to anticipate.

What you can learn: Google Trends

Google Trends is an amazing tool to discover the most searched-for trends from different countries across different time periods, including real-time trends.

Brands can use Google Trends to explore topics related to their sector and discover insights on relevant searches, like spikes in a particular search term, or the amount of interest for a competitor’s brand name. This deeper insight can give brands the ability to create user journeys even more adapted and relevant for their audience.

Through viewing topics on Google Trends, brands can also partake in some Newsjacking. This marketing technique involves identifying current news trends relevant to your audience and jumping onto the trend with your own related content. Of course, Newsjacking can come with risks if not delivered appropriately, however when done right Newsjacking can be an incredible tool to expand your audience and increase brand awareness.

For a prime example of Newsjacking, let’s bring it back to the Christmas TV ads – not long after the debut of the John Lewis advert featuring the story of Elton John and his piano, Iceland created their own sponsored post on Twitter:

You can see how Iceland ‘newsjacked’ the ad by creating their own image with an orangutan, related to their Christmas advert, playing a piano – even including John Lewis’ Christmas ad hashtag in their own tweet.

Using Trends to discover new marketing pathways isn’t just for large retailers. Google Trends can be used by companies in every sector to utilise storytelling to their audience, and to track industry trends.