What makes a successful Christmas television ad?

By: Budai Klára Date: 2024. 03. 18. 10:31

Trade magazin launched the first Christmas TV ad competition last December. The submitted commercials were voted on by the public between 5 and 20 December. Lidl’s ad was voted the best Christmas TV commercial of 2023, with Vodafone as the runner-up and Auchan finishing third.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2024/2-3

At TV2 Group storytelling is becoming more and more dominant in advertising, as the majority of commercials are as much a story as a film or an episode of our favourite TV series.

Erika Csikesz
sales director
TV2 Media Group

“It is good news for us that our partners aren’t only incorporating creativity into the stories, but are also looking for new forms of communication, and are using our tried and tested platforms”, says Erika Csikesz, sales director of TV2 Media Group.

She also points out that TV commercials are still very important, because they can reach masses of viewers and are also excellent for brand building and promotions. For 2024 she predicts that television advertising will become increasingly creative, as advertisers search for the connection between their own message and the content on the channel.

Is less more?

Balog Olga, az Essence Mediacom kereskedelmi igazgatója arra mutat rá, hogy 2023-ban a korábbi évekhez képest több hirdető készült kifejezetten karácsonyi image spottal. Arra a megállapításra jut, hogy ezekben a spotokban nem a kereskedelmi ajánlatok adják ez elsődleges üzenetet, hanem a brandhez kötődő általános életérzés. Sok esetben visszaköszönnek a spot hangi vagy képi elemei más médiatípusban is, ezzel is segítve a beépülést a fogyasztó elméjébe.

Olga Balog, trading director of Essence Mediacom informs that in 2023 more advertisers made Christmas image commercials than in previous years. She concludes that the primary message in these isn’t the commercial offer, but the general feeling of being associated with the brand.

Olga Balog
trading director
Essence Mediacom

“From a media efficiency point of view, several of the short films were longer than 30 seconds. These commercials were aired fewer times on television, mainly because of the high advertising prices”, adds Olga Balog.

Essence Mediacom’s trading director also reveals that the TV market is currently struggling with the problem that at annual level viewers see more than 15 million commercials. The high number of TV ads discourages viewers, making it much easier for them to switch to another channel, and it isn’t sure whether they will return after the commercial block.

How the Top 3 see it

The concept for Lidl’s Christmas commercial was developed as part of a global campaign, involving many countries and based on the results of several research studies. At the heart of the commercial there is a Christmas story, which highlights the importance of small gestures and how they influence the Christmas spirit.

Lidl racoon wanted to draw attention to values such as friendship, family and communion

Tőzsér Judit_Lidl

Judit Tőzsér
head of company communication
Lidl Magyarország

“There is a difficult period behind us and Lidl wishes to raise people’s awareness of values such as friendship, family and belonging with this short film”, says Judit Tőzsér, head of company communication.

With the Christmas TV commercial Lidl wanted the film and the story evoke emotions in the viewers, and make them cheer together for the raccoon to save the family’s Christmas.






Péter Tibor Juhász, head of brand and media at Vodafone Magyarország reminds us that Christmas and the end of the year is a time to reflect on our human relationships.

Christmas is about rethinking human relationship and communication, Vodafone’s spot claims

Péter Tibor Juhász 
brand director
Vodafone Magyarország

“At times like this we at Vodafone traditionally talk about how our products and services can help to resolve any conflicts and differences. Our 2023 campaign was also about this, using traditional storytelling, with the magical contribution of two brilliant acting legends, Gyula Bodrogi and Tibor Szilágyi. Perhaps that was the reason for our success: we told a story that was relevant to people in a lovable way”, says Péter Tibor Juhász.






Don’t let food prepared with love go wasted, Auchan asked Hungarian families

Ildikó Vízkeleti
marketing director
Auchan Magyarország

“Our Christmas commercial last year didn’t tell a universal Christmas story, but was about something that Hungarian people associate with themselves and can relate to very strongly. Christmas commercials usually operate by trying to evoke emotions in the viewer, but recently there has been a trend to go further and try to make people aware of other important things. Our commercial shows how much work and love the protagonist puts into Christmas baking”, says Ildikó Vízkeleti, marketing director of Auchan Magyarország. She believes it is essential for a modern TV advertisement to be flexible, i.e. easily adaptable to different digital platforms. //



Share of voice is more important than ever

Television as an advertising medium will continue to play a very important role for brands in 2024.

László Karácsony
strategic and
marketing director

“We have been living in a turbulent inflationary environment for more than a year, where there is an ever-stronger battle for the consumer basket. In this situation it is vital for brands to stay top of mind, so that they don’t become an easily substitutable product for the consumer. Advertising can be of great help in this and the importance of Share of Voice is bigger than ever”, says László Karácsony, strategic and marketing director of Atmedia.

To back up their claim, Atmedia compared changes in Share of Voice with changes in Market Share, comparing data for the first half of 2023 and the first half of 2022. Consumption and expenditure data were provided by the CPS Household Panel (4,000 households). Product categories with a minimum penetration of 30% were analysed, and private label products were excluded from the analysis.

When Share of Voice and Share of Market data were compared, it could be seen that for those products where the Share of Voice decreased in the first half of 2023, the Share of Market also reduced; the decrease is true for both small and large market share players. The same is true the other way round: brands that have increased their communication volume in the first half of 2023 – that is they increased their Share of Voice – have also increased their Share of Market. These are brands that have grown not only in value but also in volume. A percentage point increase in Share of Market for a particular brand can mean hundreds of millions or even billions of forints. //


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