According to a study by Spencer Stuart, the average tenure of marketing directors at leading US consumer brand companies is 41 months.

The average tenure of CMOs at 100 of the most advertised American brands is 30 months.

If American CMOs want to keep their jobs longer than 2.5 to 3.5 years, they should immediately hire the video marketing manager in their company to analyze the most emotionally appealing Christmas ads in the UK.

And even online retailers in the US should ask:

  • Why didn't Amazon's Christmas advertising in the UK use video SEO?
  • Why should CMOs on this side of the Atlantic Ocean analyze Christmas advertisements on the other side of the pond?

Well, it is important to learn lessons from the UK High Street store campaigns in good time to apply them to Main Street stores in the US.

In previous years this has been easier as the pre-Christmas season usually started right after Halloween in the UK but traditionally waited until the day after Thanksgiving in America.

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However, in order for shoppers to stay socially aloof in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, Black Friday is turning into a month-long event in the US.

So the differences are blurring this year.

UK Holiday Shoppers will be moving to digitization this year

One of the things that will stay different across the pond in 2020 is the response to the global pandemic.

In the UK, non-essential retail stores in England were closed on November 5, 2020 under strict lockdown measures.

So English consumers looking to buy anything other than groceries or medication cannot do so in a store until December 2nd, 2020.

As a result, the lockdown will have a huge impact on UK shopping trends over the coming Christmas season.

According to eMarketer research:

“Christmas sales will drop 19.0% to £ 60.04 billion ($ 76.63 billion). In-store sales will account for a little more than two thirds of total sales over the Christmas season, after over three quarters in the previous year and 81.6% in 2016. "

20 of the most emotional Christmas ads of 2020 (so far)

The research firm adds:

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“This year, retail e-commerce holiday season sales will hit £ 28.51 billion ($ 36.38 billion), up 16.7% year over year and a sizable percentage in 2020 account for 32.2% of total UK vacations – the highest percentage ecommerce has claimed since we started tracking this metric. "

20 of the most emotional Christmas ads of 2020 (so far)

For comparison, there was no strict lockdown in the US, although according to Ohio all retail stores must close after 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. for three weeks.

As a result, eMarketer predicts that US brick and mortar retail will drop only 4.7% to $ 822.79 billion in 2020, while US e-commerce sales will decrease 35.8% to $ 190.47 billion . USD will rise.

The research firm also expects e-commerce to account for 18.8% of total retail sales on this side of the pond.

So the 2020 holiday season in the UK, which will be very different this year, could be a preview of what to expect next year for the top US retailers.

This is especially true for Walmart, Target, and other big box retailers facing increasing competition from Amazon.

Hence, the UK and US vacation shopping trends are different.

However, the battle between Amazon and retailers is similar on both sides of the pond.

In other words, by comparing and contrasting Christmas displays in both countries separated by a common language, subtle but important lessons can be learned.

The Most Emotional Christmas Ads Of 2020 (So Far)

For this reason, the CMOs of the most advertised American brands should immediately hire whoever is responsible for video marketing in their companies to analyze the emotionally engaging Christmas advertisements in the UK.

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But what metrics should these video marketing managers use to measure how well a Christmas ad is changing the hearts, thoughts, and actions of buyers?

Well, as I said a year ago in an article titled "Did John Lewis Create One of the Top Christmas Ads for 2019?" Highlighted, using "Views" to compare videos is problematic.

Christmas ads run on different days.

Retail brands have different ad budgets for promoting their vacation ads.

In addition, the United Kingdom has 65 million people while the United States has 329 million people.

Because of this, I prefer a different way of measuring how well a Christmas display changes the hearts, thoughts, and actions of buyers.

This method was developed in the UK by Unruly, which is now part of Tremor International Ltd. is.

Founded in 2006, Unruly was one of the first to measure the emotional, behavioral and cultural factors involved in the success of a video marketing campaign in countries around the world.

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And last week, Unruly employees released a new chart of Holiday Ads that takes a closer look at which Christmas campaigns are generating the most emotional engagement.

Using data from the UnrulyEQ content measurement tool, the chart includes many of this year's UK and US festival campaigns.

(Why not all of them? Well, some brands haven't uploaded their vacation ads yet.)

However, the most emotional Christmas ads of 2020 (so far) were run by the following brands.

1. Kohl's giving wholeheartedly

UnrulyEQ Score: 7.9

Description:

“This year looks different – and so does our wish list. Where we used to only want things like toys and technology, now more than ever we want happiness, understanding and friendliness. And time together is the greatest gift of all. This year looks different because the world is different. So give with all your heart. Happy holidays with Kohl. "

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2. Etsy's gift as you mean it: Nana

UnrulyEQ Score: 7.8

Description:

"The perfect gift goes a long way, even if you can't. Find the right gift for the right on Etsy.com."

3. Macy's In Dad's Shoes

UnrulyEQ Score: 7.6

Description:

“A daughter takes an unexpected journey to find the perfect gift for her father this holiday season. The lesson at the end? This year the real gift is the thought you put into it. "

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4th Anthem & # 39; s America & # 39; s Cart

UnrulyEQ Score: 7.6

Description:

“What we needed has changed this year. But what's really important hasn't changed at all. Walmart gives you easy, safe ways to get everything you need online and end the year with what matters. "

5. Gaps dream the future

UnrulyEQ Score: 7.4

Description:

“For us, this vacation is all about hope. And when we look forward to the coming season, we hope for a friendlier and more loving morning in which we see, dream and think in color. And celebrate together as individuals. "

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6th Best Buy & # 39; s Dear Best Buy

UnrulyEQ Score: 7.3

Description: “The best gifts for the special someone in your life. Fast collection in store. Ready in an hour. "

7th Hudson & # 39; s Bay is a call to joy

UnrulyEQ Score: 7.1

Description:

"We asked Emmy winners Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy to help us spread the joy of vacationing this year, and they made it clear that when it comes to joy, more is more!"

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8th. Not on the main street The magic of the little things

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.9

Description:

"Excited faces, thoughtful gifts, cozy new PJs … it's the little details that make Christmas magical. Find unique gift ideas and festive magic from the UK's best little creative companies."

9. M&S FOODs This is M&S Christmas dinner

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.8

Description:

“A magical selection of festive food. Two million pounds were donated to UK charities. Nine world-famous icons (plus some very special M&S colleagues). This is not just any Christmas food ad … Introducing the first of our nine delicious festive ads voiced by Olivia Colman. "

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10. Aldi's Christmas Promotion 2020

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.7

Description: "Kevin is out in the cold. Will he be home in time for Christmas?"

11. Lidl is big on a Christmas you can believe in

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.7

Description: “Could a friendship be imminent? No, it's a Christmas advertisement for Lidl with great prices! "

12. The Amazon show must go on

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.7

Description:

"This is the story of a young dancer whose spirit and tenacity face the challenges of 2020. All with a little help from her family and community."

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13. Barbour's Santa Claus to the rescue

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.7

Description:

“This #BarbourChristmas we are joining Raymond Briggs & # 39; beloved Santa on a very special adventure at the Barbour factory in South Shields. Share our Barbour Christmas film based on a true story … "

14th John Lewis gives a little love

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.4

Description:

“We believe the world would be a better place if we all gave a little more love. So this year we celebrate friendliness, whether big or small, and show how every single act of love has a positive effect on the world around us when we pass it on to others. "

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15th Asda & # 39; s this is an Asda Price Christmas

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.4

Description:

"Check out Asda's Christmas commercials – our superfan Sunny is back to show everyone they can have the Christmas they need, at the prices they all want. He has enlisted his family's help – and a huge lighted pocket tap. This is an Asda Price Christmas! "

16. Argos is an evening with AbracaDaisy and the incredible Lucy

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.4

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Description:

"This year the magic of Christmas will be captured by the dreams of two sisters to become magicians. After they have walked around a simple bag of tricks, we experience a very special achievement for their dearest fans – their family."

17th Hobbycrafts craft together this Christmas

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.2

Description:

"Together we've seen how our lives have changed – but we've found different ways to share ideas, learn new skills and help each other." We created things to let others know we miss them and brought families together even when we are apart. It's the joy of making and the gifts we share, so let's craft together this Christmas! "

18th TK Maxx & # 39; The Little Goat

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.2

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Description:

"After the year we've had, everyone deserves to feel special this season. And that includes everyone in our lives, even pet goats. Join our little goat as it struts its fabulous fashion items in the snow and is admired by her proud parents who bought her these wonderful gifts. How festive. Great love at low prices – this Christmas at TK Maxx. "

19th Deliverloos Christmas is on!

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.1

Description:

"Get the best of the festive season food on your doorstep with festive specials from Pret, Burger King, KFC and more only delivered by Deliveroo."

20thTesco's No Naughty List

UnrulyEQ Score: 6.1

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Description:

“After a year like this, we believe there is no such thing as a naughty list. So go on to the UK for the best Christmas ever. "

While Amazon is the £ 800 gorilla in retail e-commerce, it's worth noting that the brand hasn't removed any double-deckers from the top of the Empire State Building.

Amazon's Christmas ad, "The Show Must Go On," took 11th place with an UnrulyEQ of 6.6.

This shows that the brand has a strong emotional impact on consumers, but 10 other brands have an even stronger impact on buyers' hearts, thoughts and actions.

As Nick Woodford of the Unruly Blog notes:

"Sadvertising" and addressing viewers' lockdown frustrations, the ad felt very emotional to 38% of viewers and told the story of a young ballerina who gets her big break only to take her away through lockdown. "

He adds:

"The spot takes viewers on an emotional roller coaster ride that ends at a climax while also shedding light on young people and the art industry, both of whom have been severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak."

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For comparison: “Give with all my heart Kohl's Commercial “tells the story of an unlikely friendship that blossoms during the holiday season when a little girl uses handwritten signs to communicate with the older woman next door.

After a short and disappointing absence, the neighbor is returning for Christmas.

This “Trackvertising” example uses the soundtrack of Willie Nelson singing “Rainbow Connection” so that 64% of viewers feel very emotional after seeing the older woman hold up a sign saying, “Got it what you wished for? "

The little girl nods happily.

Amazon vs. Google – The battle for product search

Earlier this month, European Union regulators filed antitrust lawsuits against Amazon, accusing the e-commerce giant of using its access to data from companies selling products on its platform to gain an unfair advantage over them.

In January 2020, Stephen Bench-Capon published the results of a study in the Searchmetrics SEO & Content Marketing Blog, which paints a more complex picture:

“Amazon is the largest marketplace the world has ever seen, and there are more product searches directly on Amazon than on Google. However, Google remains a major source of traffic for all online retailers, including Amazon. "

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Searchmetrics has done a detailed study of how Amazon uses a combination of organic and paid offerings to compete for customer clicks.

The digital marketing analytics company conducted a study that looked at 10,000 keywords. Amazon ranks first organic in Google search results.

The study removed trademark searches and found that:

  • Amazon buys Google Ads for 10.5% of the analyzed keywords and thus gives double organic / paid entries.
  • Amazon is shown for 31.1% of the analyzed keywords in the Google Shopping field and owns a total of 16.2% of the individual Google Shopping ads found.
  • Amazon has at least one other organic result for 45.0% of the keywords it already ranks number one for.
  • Amazon is shown in image fields on 41.5% of Google's SERPs, where it also has the highest rank. This means that there are very few image fields with no Amazon result.
  • On the other hand, Amazon doesn't offer video content that is displayed in video carousels.

20 of the most emotional Christmas ads of 2020 (so far)

With the vast majority of results coming from video carousels from YouTube, which is operated by Google, video SEO is Amazon's only strategic weakness in Google search results.

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You can see for yourself by looking closely. The show must go on, Amazon's Christmas advertisement in the UK.

If you use Google Trends you will find that "Amazon" has had 4.5 times more interest in web search than "John Lewis" in the UK over the past 5 years.

20 of the most emotional Christmas ads of 2020 (so far)

And there is 2.0 times more YouTube search interest in "Amazon" than in "John Lewis" in the last 5 years – except in mid-November when the annual John Lewis Christmas advertisement is published.

20 of the most emotional Christmas ads of 2020 (so far)

However, Amazon did not include its brand name in the title of its Christmas advertising, so it is not "optimized" for that term.

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If you look at the list above, Walmart, Gap, Hudson & # 39; s Bay, Not On The High Street, and Deliveroo don't even include their brand names in their titles.

So Amazon isn't the only one who doesn't understand how video SEO works.

But 14 other brands do.

You will also see 10 brands use the keyword "Christmas" in their titles.

One uses "Christmas" and another uses "Holiday".

Now I understand that this can spark disputes about political correctness, but there is no debate that interest in "Christmas" is significantly greater in web and YouTube searches than in these other two synonyms.

So if you remove the keyword "Christmas" from the title of the Christmas ad, this is a lost opportunity for Amazon.

A similar case can be made for the keyword "advertisement" in the UK, although "advertisement" and "advertisement" are more popular terms in the US.

After all, the phrase "the show has to go on" is a search term, but it's also the title of a Queen song, as well as a cliché used in show business.

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As a result, Amazon's Christmas ad won't appear at the top of Google's SERP when you search for "The show is busy".

20 of the most emotional Christmas ads of 2020 (so far)

And Amazon's Christmas commercials won't appear at the top of YouTube's SERPs either when you search for "The Show Must Go On".

20 of the most emotional Christmas ads of 2020 (so far)

Hence, sometimes you need to avoid using popular search terms when tweaking your YouTube video ad's title, description, and tags.

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Speaking of tags, I used vidIQ to investigate "The show has to go on" and found that it doesn't use tags – another clue to the fact that Amazon's Christmas advertising doesn't use SEO.

Oh, and it's worth noting that the comments for "The Show Must Go On" are turned off.

So, you can bet on your last can of biscuits (biscuits) that the video marketing professionals who work for Amazon haven't read the YouTube algorithm: 7 Key Findings You Need To Know Which Explains:

"YouTube's search and recognition system has two goals: to help viewers find the videos they want to see and to maximize long-term audience engagement and satisfaction."

How can I be so sure?

Well, it's hard to find Amazon's Christmas ads even if you want to see them.

Turning off commentary for anyone who's watched "The Show Must Go On" undermines audience engagement, even if the young dancer's personal triumphant story gave them significant levels of satisfaction.

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So when video marketing executives at 100 of the most advertised American brands provide this type of analysis to their company's CMO, I'm pretty confident they'll get the budget and executive support they need to create an emotional one more appealing Christmas advertising next year.

And when they also learn how to use video SEO, not only will their Christmas advertisements be discovered by more viewers, but they will change the hearts, minds and behaviors of more shoppers during this all-important holiday season for retailers.

More resources:

Photo credit

All screenshots by the author, November 2020

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