Aldi, Lidl and TK Maxx beat John Lewis in Christmas ad music stakes


Discount retailers Aldi, Lidl and TK Maxx have all trumped usual favourite John Lewis in the Christmas ad music league table as rated by sonic branding testing platform SoundOut. 

Soundout Christmas ad music league table

It’ll be music to the discounters ears as SoundOut revealed the most effective advertising soundtracks of the 2022 Christmas season – with Aldi, Lidl and TK Maxx leading the charge.

SoundOut tested the soundtracks of 24 Christmas ad campaigns and analysed how well they matched the parent brand personality, as defined by thousands of consumers. 

For each one, SoundOut also measured their emotional impact across 200 emotional brand attributes.

Aldi (ad below) takes first place, with an advert soundtrack that holds a 90% match to the Aldi brand. 

The soundtrack follows a clear Rebel/Hero archetype and delivers emotions such as ‘fun’, ‘alive’ and ‘amazing’ – but also comes across as ‘confused’.

Lidl takes second place – the personality of the soundtrack is an 84% match to the Lidl brand, as defined by consumers. 

From an archetype perspective it’s also a Rebel/Hero and features emotions such as ‘contemporary’, ‘innovative’, ‘alive’ and ‘cheerful’.

Third is TK Maxx at 83%, with its top attributes including ‘amazing’, ‘wonderous’, ‘cheerful’ and ‘refreshing’.

However, John Lewis only gains 13th position in this year’s league table, with a brand match of 68%. Despite this, the music’s Companion/ Caregiver archetype is a perfect accompaniment to the ad’s story arc. 

The top attributes being delivered are “sincerity”, “positivity”, “kindness”, “family orientated” and “compassion”.

Here is the full table:


David Courtier-Dutton, CEO, SoundOut, said: “While some brands may decide to go for a full on sales activation approach, smart brands use the emotional power of Christmas, and one of the largest annual campaign budgets, to drive long term emotional empathy with the brand itself.  

“This ‘look at me, I really care’ or ‘you can always trust me to throw a great party’ may or may not be a better way of shifting mince pies next week, but it is one rooted in long term brand building, which as every marketeer knows, is the secret to long term sales uplift.

“For brands taking this approach it is essential to be authentic. This authenticity needs to come from the heart (or appear to) and one of the most powerful ways to tie the emotion of the campaign with the brand itself is through music.

“Music that simultaneously captures the empathetic emotions of the storyline and the core brand personality is the best way of creating genuine long term rapport with consumers.

“This is because music is the hod-carrier of emotional bricks, acting deep on the consumer subconscious while the story unfolds.”