The Christmas season has officially begun - judging by the commercial breaks on television. Supermarkets were quick to jump in, representing themselves in large numbers. Following unwritten tradition, the brands are using an emotional storyline buried in Christmas spirit. In collaboration with Panel Insight this year, Validators not only tested the emotional impact potential, but also took a closer look at the mental Christmas market as the "peak on the Christmas tree. This analysis shows that inflation also strikes during the holiday season, "Affordable luxury items" and "Inexpensive Christmas shopping" are more relevant than ever.

In this article you will read about the results of the Christmas commercials and the main outcomes of the Christmas shopping market where the mental market position of supermarkets was mapped.

Robin makes Albert Heijn's Christmas magical
Like last year, Albert Heijn manages to develop a very successful commercial. Among other things, this one manages to elicit the most viewing pleasure from viewers. The commercial showing "Robin's Magical Christmas" makes very good use of humor, animals and laughing children. Elements that capitalize on positive emotion.

In terms of mental market share, again Albert Heijn scores the highest, the supermarket receiving the most number of considerations from consumers. This is no surprise since the large grocer from Zaandam is also the leader in terms of actual market share. As a rule, the more often a brand is considered, the more often it is bought. It is also clear in the analyses how Albert Heijn is an inspiration for many to put a nice Christmas dinner on the table.

Not entirely surprisingly, the country's second largest retailer also opts for a true, emotional brand video. The final shot communicates another variety of products, including a main course, mini snacks and a dessert. Partly because of this, Jumbo manages to score well with its wide assortment which provides a mental advantage for people who want to buy everything at 1 supermarket or have a wide choice.

Skimping on December
Lidl manages to stir emotion with its message about inclusivity especially toward the end of the commercial - where the story comes to a head. After Albert Heijn, Lidl knows best how to strike the right chords. The message "Luxury for all" communicated not only in this Christmas commercial resonates well, in fact Lidl has a higher mental market share than the overall share in the CEPs 'Affordable luxury products' and 'Affordable Christmas shopping'. Lidl is the most considered supermarket for Christmas shopping in these categories in 'Affordable luxury goods' and 51% in 'Inexpensive Christmas groceries'. When consumers are watching the little things in this expensive month, Lidl will largely be a logical choice. Aldi also manages to make a huge mental leap in the 'Affordable Christmas Shopping' situation, scoring 7% higher than its overall mental market share.

CEP results
Validators examined 16 key needs (CEPs), when it comes to choosing a supermarket for Christmas shopping. The most relevant CEP is no surprise, people choose a supermarket out of "Habits. So for Christmas shopping, people mainly consider stopping by their usual supermarket. However, being able to do the shopping inexpensively, having choice and affordable luxury products also play an important role in the supermarket choice process.

Looking at the most important needs for choosing a supermarket, 'Affordable luxury products' is the most important. In addition, 'Affordable Christmas shopping' is also considered very important for Christmas shopping. Both CEPs are an extremely logical choice given the current times, where everything is becoming increasingly expensive.

Figure 1: TOP 3 most important needs (CEPs) for Christmas shopping

Bart Massa, Business Manager at Validators: "Every year the Christmas commercials are eagerly awaited, and this year they did not disappoint either. Validators likes to research the emotional experience and its effectiveness, but we also look a step further. By providing insight into the mental market shares of supermarkets, patterns become clear that brands can capitalize on. The need for an affordable Christmas is more relevant than ever, and a brand's position on this says a lot about the influx of customers it can expect. Successful campaigns are a combination of good creation and a focus on the right Category Entry Points, both Lidl and Albert Heijn are doing very well this year."

EmotionFlow & CEP research
Christmas commercials were researched with EmotionFlow. This neuro tool reads viewers' facial expressions using Facial Coding and Artificial Intelligence at the moment they watch a commercial. This allows you to conduct neuro research among a high sample size, with people also participating in the study in natural settings. With CEP survey we explore consumer needs and opportunities for brands to connect to them.

This article can also be read at MarketingTribune.