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John Lewis loses out to Aldi, Lidl and TK Maxx in Christmas ad music league table

SoundOut, the leader in sonic branding testing, has revealed the most effective advertising soundtracks of the 2022 Christmas season – with discount stores 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 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 placethe 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.”


About SoundOut

SoundOut is the world leader in strategic sonic branding and audio marketing testing. It has achieved this lead position by combining three powerful capabilities.

  • Working with world leading music psychologists and over 500,000 consumers, it has mapped the explicit emotional DNA of sound and used this as the foundation for a suite of tools, such as BrandMatch, that can be used at various stages of sonic branding development to increase the certainty of a return on investment.

  • The development of a wholly owned consumer panel of over 3.5 million people, which enables brands to test their sonic assets at scale.

  • The testing and analysis of almost 200 in market sonic logos with over 400,000 consumers (The SoundOut Index) that reveals the key criteria that are essential to audio branding and audio marketing success.

SoundOut works with many of the most iconic brands in the world (such as TikTok, Amazon, Toyota, DHL, Ford, Unilever and GSK) as well as all the major record labels and many leading radio groups. SoundOut specialises in helping organisations trigger the right emotional response from their customers by matching brand personality and attributes to music. As a result, SoundOut provides the data and insight needed by clients to increase the certainty of achieving a strong ROI from their audio branding and marketing investments.

Clients use SoundOut’s unrivalled strategic sonic testing capabilities to identify the effectiveness potential of new sonic identities before they are launched and ensure that they resonate with the core brand personality.

OnBrand now scales these capabilities to all use of music in brand marketing, enabling brands to index huge music catalogues and search them based on the personality, attributes or archetype of their brand.

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