“Snapper: The Perfect Tree” Among Top Four Most Effective John Lewis Christmas Ads

LONDON, NEW YORK – November 9, 2023 – “Snapper: The Perfect Tree” is among the top four most effective John Lewis Christmas ads ever.

Barney Worfolk-Smith

Barney Worfolk-Smith

9 Nov 2023

That’s according to new research from creative effectiveness platform DAIVID, which has released a ranking of John Lewis’ most effective Xmas campaigns following the launch of the retail store’s latest festive campaign earlier today.

For the last 14 years, the tear-jerking festive ad fare served up by the retailer and its ad agency Adam & Eve/DDB have set the standard for Xmas advertising – even becoming a fixture in the seasonal celebrations.

 So with agency Saatchi & Saatchi and production company Megaforce taking over the creative reins this year for the first time in almost a decade and a half, DAIVID used its advanced content testing platform – which helps brands and agencies maximise the effectiveness of their ads – to see how the latest entrant to the John Lewis Christmas canon compares.

Based in London, DAIVID uses its suite of technologies – including facial coding, eye tracking and survey responses – to help advertisers optimise the emotional impact and attention levels of their ad campaigns.

The ad research company took John Lewis’s festive campaigns from the last 13 years and ranked them using the company’s new Creative Effectiveness Score (CES) – a composite metric which combines the three main drivers of effectiveness: attention, emotions and memory. Altogether, 1,950 respondents took part in the study.

“Snapper: The Perfect Tree” finished in joint 4th position, alongside 2014’s Monty The Penguin,  after managing a score of 7.1 out of 10 – making it 14.4% more effective than the average UK ad. Altogether, 56.6% of viewers felt an intense positive emotion to the new ad – 14.4% higher than the average – while 79.6% correctly recalled the brand after watching, above the norm of 67.9%. The campaign also generated high levels of attention (77.0%, +8.4% vs. the UK norm).

The 2016 campaign “Buster The Boxer” tops the John Lewis Xmas chart with a score of 7.4 after achieving the joint highest correct brand recall and the second most intense positive emotional responses from viewers.

That put it just ahead of the 2015 campaign “Man on the Moon”, which had the strongest emotional response of any campaign in the UK retailer’s festive canon. “The Boy and The Piano”, which stars Elton John (7.2), “Monty the Penguin” (7.1), last year’s campaign “The Beginner” (7.0) and “Moz The Monster” (7.0) make up the rest of the top 5 places respectively.

Most Effective John Lewis Xmas ads

1 2016 “Buster the Boxer” 7.4 CES (out of 10)
2 2015 “Man on the Moon” 7.3
3 2018 “The Boy and the Piano” 7.2
=4 2014 “Monty the Penguin” 7.1
=4 2023 “Snapper: The Perfect Tree” 7.1
=5 2022 “The Beginner” 7.0
=5 2017 “Moz the Monster” 7.0
6 2020 “Give a Little Love” 6.9
=7 2013 “The Bear and the Hare” 6.8
=7 2019 “Edgar the Excitable Dragon” 6.8
8 2021 “Unexpected Guest” 6.7
9 2012 “The Journey” 6.6
10 2011 “The Long Wait” 6.5

Ian Forrester, CEO and founder of DAIVID, said: “While this year we saw a new agency at the helm, Saatchi & Saatchi didn’t mess too much with the winning John Lewis formula but still elevated itself above the sea of sameness. ‘Snapper: The Perfect Tree’ looks and feels like a John Lewis Xmas ad. That includes wheeling out many of the tried-and-trusted John Lewis emotions – including warmth, aesthetic appreciation and joy – to good effect. These emotions played a huge role in driving overall effectiveness

“The ad also scored well for attention, the second strongest we have ever seen from a John Lewis Christmas ad, and decent branding resulted in a strong brand recall score. Yet strong negative emotions, most notably confusion, prevented the ad from finishing higher up the chart. This was largely down to its portrayal of a venus fly trap as a Christmas tree. This surprised people and many found it funny, with 14.7% of viewers finding it hilarious, but it also confused almost as many people (14.0%). High levels of boredom (11.2%) also held the ad back from finishing in the top three.”



DAIVID is a creative effectiveness platform that helps advertisers create better-performing ad campaigns. The UK-based company uses advanced technologies — including facial coding, machine learning and computer vision — to help brands optimise the impact of their creative and media strategies. DAIVID is constantly training an AI in attention, emotions and creative attributes data so it can explain why advertising will work or not. Clients include EssenceMediacom and Omnicom.