Article

Lindsay Parry
Lindsay Parry 30 December 2021

Who’s Winning Christmas?

Every year brands get their mascots Christmas-ready. These fluent devices which star in festive ads become iconic and an integral part of the build-up to Christmas. These are the top three festive brand mascots, according to consumers.

To understand how much Christmas fluent devices contribute to perceptions of a brand and its personality, brand health experts Nepa looked at the eight most popular Christmas brand characters in the UK and asked to over 1000 consumers their opinions of each. 

Using their ‘BrandTouch’ methodology, which is based on 120 pre-determined characteristics, Nepa identified which characters complements their brand the most, maximizing the impact of a Christmas campaign and boosting positive personality traits.

The Characters Score looks at how a fluent device affect a brand’s perception and which personality traits they bring to the Christmas party, based on correlation analysis.

Going from 0 up to 200, with 100 being the average value, the score is based on two dimensions; how the character and the brand align with each other (so the more similar positive attributes they share the higher the score is), and how much the character contributes to the positive attributes of the brand.

The score is calculated by indexing correlation values and by taking each traits’ strength into consideration. 

The ranking of the top 3 mascots which scored the highest:

Character

Score

Aldi’s Kevin the carrot

141

O2’s Bubl the robot

124

John Lewis’ Excitable Edgar

114


The gold medal goes to Kevin. The famous carrot matches Aldi’s brand perception of being kind, down to earth, friendly, and helpful. On top of reinforcing these traits Kevin also adds some other positive characteristics to the brand such as being thoughtful, sociable, and traditional.

Kevin is loved by all age groups and genders, and he is also the most recognisable mascot – with 84% of people associating him with Aldi. 56% of consumers also say that Kevin positively affects the way they feel about the brand, and Aldi comes first when asked about favourite brands. All in all, Kevin and Aldi are a perfect match! 

One character that didn’t make the top three is Coca-Cola’s Santa Claus who scores 84 points. Santa doesn’t seem to align particularly with the brand. Although they’re both seen as traditional and beloved, Coca-Cola is seen as sociable and energetic, Santa on the contrary is calm and a bit ordinary.

Santa does contribute positively to the brand by bringing a sense of trustworthiness and thoughtfulness which isn’t usually part of Coca-Cola’s image, but although Coca-Cola is credited with creating the modern image of Santa, is Santa now holding it back?   

Scoring the lowest is TKMaxx’s Lil’ Goat, with only 69 points. The funny animal produces strong emotions in consumers, however not all of them align with the brand positioning.

Although both TKMaxx and Lil’ Goat are seen as playful and fun, the Goat is also strongly seen as dominant, loud, and critical bringing some negatives to the Christmas party table. 48% do associate the mascot with the brand but only 37% say that it affects their opinion of the brand positively.

Lindsay Parry, Managing Director at Nepa UK says: "Christmas is a crucial time of the year for brands. All eyes are on the new creative campaigns and people want to be surprised and feel the festive warmth."

"Fluent devices play an extremely important part in this and shouldn’t just be seen as disposable mascots. They have a strong influence on a brand personality and can shift consumer perception for the best or for the worst if they’re not carefully thought through."

Methodology

BrandTouch analysis shows how consumers perceive a brand and its personality on a bi-dimensional map divided into 8-fields and based on 120 attributes. ]

For this study Nepa asked over 1000 consumers about the most high-profile UK brands around Christmas in different categories which all had strong Christmas characters. The brands included are Aldi, Heathrow Airport, John Lewis, O2, Iceland, TKMaxx, Coca-Cola and DFS.

About Nepa

Global research and insights agency Nepa, a leader in Brand Experience and Marketing Optimisation, helps some of the world’s most reputable brands drive growth through data. This is achieved by combining first-class research, cutting-edge technology, deep expertise, and innovative solutions.

Founded in 2006 it now has over 250 employees with offices in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, India, the US and the UK.

Named one of the 50 fastest-growing tech companies by Deloitte, Nepa has been growing on average 55% every year, in the UK. It supports leading clients in a variety of industries (retail, FMCG, media, telecommunications, and hospitality), working with clients such as Mango, Unilever, Kindred and GANT.

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