Christmas advertising, is it the UK's Superbowl?

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There’s a bit of an idea going around that Christmas advertising is to the UK what Superbowl advertising is to America. The ads we see that spill over from the UK are becoming more and more like the spectacles we see produced for the costly Superbowl ad space. A spectacle! That’s exactly what the UK’s Christmas ads are. We all eagerly anticipate the great stories and production values given to us by the likes of John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. Much like we how we get giddy when we see Walter White appear in an ad for Esurance or how we ready the tissues ready for the return of the Budweiser puppy.

The spectacle of Christmas advertising.

The idea that UK Christmas advertising is becoming as much of a spectacle as Superbowl advertising is enough to compare the two, but we crawled through the web and found some interesting figures in relation to ad spend. So we put together some infographs so you can make easy reading of it. Christmas advertising spend in the UK. (Source: Nielsen). A lot of money! What’s interesting to look at is how John Lewis falls behind Tesco, Sainsbury’s and M&S in terms of ad spend and their ads are arguably the most anticipated and talked about of the four. The £7 million was spent on a number of aspects which you can check out on the John Lewis website. It includes the ad itself, in store promotions and merchandise. It’s definitely a strong case for the age old “less is more” argument. Ad spend by the biggest companies at the Superbowl. (Source: Kantar Media).  Then we have the Superbowl ads. The companies above are known for splashing ridiculous amounts of money on lavish advertisements. For example the $249 million dollars spent by Anheuser Busch was spent over ten ads. So this is roughly $25 million per ad (about €23 million). This is still more than the top ad spend in the UK for Christmas advertising. The ad spent between the two is still pretty much even with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and M&S all spending more on Christmas advertising then Pepsico Inc.  You also have to take into account that the UK ad spend shown is spent over the course of a month, whereas the ad spend on Superbowl advertising is in some cases just on one (very expensive) ad slot.

It’s not about the money.

The point we’re trying to make isn’t all about the money. It’s the fact that these festive ads have become just as big of a talking point as the massive Superbowl ads. With the likes of John Lewis and Sainsbury’s ads trending on twitter days before and after their ad launches, the ads being talked about for almost the entirety of November and December and being included in countdowns of the best Christmas ads. There really is no surprise that Christmas advertising is being labelled as the UK’s Superbowl. You can check out a list of our top 5 christmas ads here, and stay tuned for a list of the best Superbowl ads coming soon!