As Christmas fast approaches the holiday season is heralded by the eagerly awaited launch of the John Lewis advert on television (due to be aired next week); Now a Christmas tradition, 2015 marks the 9th year of their emotive story telling, each year growing in success.
In 2014 the retailer spent £7m on Monty the Penguin, with year on year budgets growing, the audiences are responding. John Lewis sold out of many of its Monty merchandise within hours of hitting the shelves. Their use of multi channel marketing to interact with its customers is ultimately driving footfall in store.
Each year, even before the advert has aired, rumours fly around social media for a hint of what’s to come, this year the song has been kept under wraps with wide speculation that the adverts soundtrack will be Oasis’s ‘Half the World Away’.
Weeks following the advert’s launch there is a hum of people asking THAT question “Have you seen the John Lewis advert yet?” followed with tales of how it made them laugh and cry.
But there really is no secret to their success; John Lewis connects with its customers on an emotional level. Who really likes to be sold at, it puts the audience on the defence and their hand firmly on their wallet. People demand more from advertisers than just the “buy it now” style of adverting. These brands are getting left behind with our finger firmly on the fast forward button of the TV remote.
It might not be a secret to their success, but it most certainly isn’t an easy task to connect with an audience. Ben Priest, founder and executive creative director at Adam & Eve DDB – the creative agency behind John Lewis’ adverts, said in a recent interview with The Drum, “We set out to make beautiful films, with an insight in, that real people can relate to.”
If he had replied with we set out to sell sofas, I doubt 1.8m views of the advert on YouTube on its day of launch would have been likely. Currently the 2014 Monty the Penguin advert is close to 29m views on YouTube.
2015 John Lewis advert due to air 8am Friday 6th November.
2014 – Monty the Penguin
2013 – The Bear and The Hare
2012 – Snowman love story
2011 – The long wait
2010 – Your song
2009 – Sweet child O mine
2008 – From me to you
2007 – Shadow
To read the full interview with Ben Priest, founder and executive creative director at Adam & Eve DDB, click here.