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Which Christmas ad is top dog?

The IPA has completed a unique test of Christmas TV advertisements within one of the UK’s least-researched audience demographics: dogs.


In the experiment – codename d ‘Dogglebox ’– high profile seasonal TV ads were played to a canine panel and their reactions filmed.

The results, ranging from shifts in posture and eye position to yawns, barks and the occasional pant, were then analysed for evidence of awareness and emotional engagement.

The advertisements judged to generate the most positive responses were from John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s.

It is hoped these qualitative results may provide an early indication of the likely effectiveness of the campaigns on human audiences.

The panellists were Duffie, a Lakeland Patterdale (12), Ellie, a Labrador (10), and Paddy, a Cockerpoo (18 months).

They were recruited because they have had above average exposure to highly effective communications via their owners who are all closely linked to the IPA’s Effectiveness Awards. The panellists worked pro bono.

Lorna Hawtin, Disruption Director of TBWA\Manchester and Convenor of Judges at the 2014 IPA Effectiveness Awards, said: “We looked quite hard for a segment that hadn’t already seen a lot of the adverts that are out there. We wanted to find a group of consumers that really reflected UK households.

“At this early stage, the results are indicative but we will be looking forward to reading the full case histories of these campaigns if, as hoped, they are submitted for the 2016 IPA Effectiveness Awards.”

The Dogglebox film, and links to the advertisements featured in the test, can be found on a playlist on the IPA’s YouTube channel here

Pictures of the dogs can be found at or on Twitter #dogglebox.

Please join in the fun by posting photos or videos of your dogs watching Christmas adverts to Dogglebox on Instagram and Vine with #Dogglebox #IPAEff

For effectiveness analyses and case studies, visit

Notes to editors:

How the IPA went in pursuit of the ‘Woof’ vote.

The following Christmas TV ads, listed in alphabetical order, were shown to the canine panel under laboratory conditions on November 20, 2014:

Argos, Get set Go, CHI & Partners

Debenhams, Found it!, JWT London

John Lewis, #Monty the Penguin, adam&eveDDB

Marks & Spencer, #Follow the Fairies, RKCR/Y&R

Sainsbury’s, Official Christmas 2014 Advert, AMV BBDO

Sky Movies, Step into the adventure with Sky Movies, WCRS

The panel’s responses were externally assessed and scored 1-5 for both awareness and emotional engagement.

The dogs’ wellbeing was a prime concern for the film crew, who ensured a plentiful supply of food, water, relief breaks and human hugs.


Last updated 09/12/2014

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