‘Tis the Christmas season in the UK, and retailers are busy deploying their much-anticipated Christmas TV ads. But, behind the scenes, a costly war is going on to get the UK’s most popular Christmas advert—a war estimated to cost £6 billion.

For retailers in the region, holiday videos are the most dependable way to rack up YouTube views. All the most-viewed videos by brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Retail Europe this year were seasonal, with 80% relating to Christmas. Few other videos achieved comparable scale, emphasizing the importance of this tent-pole event. For example, last year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas advert—number one by a significant margin—obtained nearly 18 times more views than the brand’s top non-Christmas related YouTube video.

YouTube videos

Since 2007, John Lewis has dominated the conversation with the most highly anticipated blockbuster videos, whose popularity other retailers attempt to mimic. In 2017, however, traditional advertisers have to compete with a new entrant – the biggest retailer of them all. 

Launched in early November, Amazon’s “Give 60” advert takes a slightly different angle to the standard Christmas adverts by trying to add an emotional factor to what it does best: delivery. In just a week, the video accumulated nearly 800,000 views on YouTube. Views are ahead of Tesco and Morrisons, and on par with Asda, making it a good effort for a first attempt.


While the accumulated views still pale in comparison to the John Lewis Christmas advert, Amazon is renowned for putting its full weight behind all its endeavors. Will it manage to win yet another battle with retailers in the upcoming years?

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