Have you seen John this Christmas?

09Dec16

Originally written on 9th Nov, the day before the launch of the latest John Lewis Christmas TV ad.

christmas-banner

Today will see the new John Lewis Christmas TV ad break in the UK.

The Christmas ads from this leading up-market department store have become a regular fixture in the UK and have prompted much social media discussion and ad sharing over the years.

The 2015 ad was watched by over 25 million people on YouTube in the last year. It’s one of the few ads on YouTube to ever rival the levels of Reach delivered from a major broadcast TV campaign in the UK. In comparison the Cadbury Gorilla TV ad took more than 8 years to achieve over 18 million views, and only achieved around 6 million in year one. Something TV buyers have used over the years to highlight how broadcast still commonly beats digital for the speed it builds Reach. But John Lewis have a formula and have applied it consistently and well.

So when the new ad breaks today, expect Adam & Eve DDB in London to dig out a forlorn soundtrack, probably sung about loss or isolation. This year something by Randy Crawford or Coldplay are popular bets among gamblers. Cue the child and the family. Perhaps throw in a cute animal or two. Reference the way gifts bring people together. It should work a treat. It has done for the last 7 years.

John Lewis are already on track for a bumper sales year, compared to performance over the last 3 years.

Weekly Sales Data: HERE

If you’d like a reminder of their previous Christmas TV, links are below.

2015 – Man in the Moon: Here

2014 – Monty the Penguin: Here

2013 – The Bear and the Hare: Here

2012 – The Journey: Here

2011 – The Long Wait: Here (My personal favourite)

2010 – Your Song Here

2009 – Sweet Child: Here

When you have a great formula, you simply need to reinterpret this annually, in order to build upon your distinctive success; creating a brand and cultural phenomenon. But in 2016, how much of the media exposure will rely on broadcast TV for this event? And will the formula change for change’s sake?

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