Disney beats Tesco for most emotionally engaging UK Christmas ad

disney christmas ad - unruly

Unruly, the global video and Connected TV (CTV) programmatic advertising platform, has used its content testing tool, UnrulyEQ to reveal that Disney has created the most emotionally engaging UK Christmas ad of 2021 .

Among those in the running were John Lewis, Coca-Cola, Selfridges, McDonald’s, Marks and Spencer, Lidl, Coca Cola and more.

Disney ad – The Stepdad

But, the ad with the highest emotional impact was Disney’s “The Stepdad” (below), a three-minute 26-second heart-warming story of an animated man called Mike trying to win the love of his stepchildren, Max and Ella. 

At the heart of the story is a very special storybook – a precious item belonging to Max from his birth father.

The book celebrates the power of storytelling and how it can deepen family bonds; as the family are shown delighting in the magic of Disney storytelling, beautiful animation springs off the pages, igniting the true spirit of Christmas.

Some 35.8% of Brits who watched the ad had an intense positive emotional response to the content, making it 15.2% more moving than the average UK ad.

Disney also claimed top spot last year with their “From Our Family To Yours” campaign.


Narrowly behind was Tesco’s “This Christmas, Nothing’s Stopping Us” (below), featuring various members of the public determined to enjoy a traditional Christmas with family and friends after the misery of lockdown over the holidays in 2020. 

Tesco was just 0.1% behind Disney at 35.7% for emotional intensity.

Coca-Cola claims third place for “Chimney | Real Magic”, which tells the uplifting story of a cardboard chimney that brings people together. 

The advert generated an emotionally intense response in 35.2% of people.

Other brands that scored just below the top three for emotional intensity in the UK include McDonalds’ “Imaginary Iggy”, and John Lewis, famous for its emotional Christmas advertising, with “Unexpected Guest” (below)

Ads that scored the lowest are Selfridges’ “Christmas 2021” ad campaign at 20.1% emotional intensity followed by Deliveroo’s “The Ultimate Gift” scoring 19.6%.