Friday, 9 November 2012

John Lewis continue strong storytelling theme with Christmas 2012 ad

It's no secret that I've been a big fan of John Lewis's advertising creative since their first big "story" creative in May 2010. I've shared that ad with delegates on training courses I've run all round the world as an example of great content (not just an ad), well executed and distributed.  It's nice to see people harnessing the power of strong story writing, carefully chosen music and strong visual execution to drive brand equity without having to force overt sales/product messages down our throats. Let's face it the world has enough of those already, and it's the emotional pull of the creative combination of those ingredients which makes these ads memorable, shareable and I am sure brand endearing, driving footfall.

Christmas last year saw the release of an ad that evoked a lot of empathy and online buzz...because it was based on a super smart insight... everyone can remember as a child the interminable run up for Christmas, full of excitement and anticipation.

This year, bonfire night put aside for another year (I'm sure I am not alone in being unable to remotely contemplate Christmas until after the 5th November), I spotted yesterday (8th November), this Facebook post from John Lewis teasing the forthcoming release of the Christmas 2012 ad...

Note: 1448 likes, 127 comments so healthy engagement levels both high & low involvement.  This morning at 9am I get a  Channel Subscriber email  (NB) from YouTube announcing the new video going up - so indirectly from John Lewis...

I watched the ad, enjoyed it, watched it again,  shared it on Facebook, saw it immediately re-posted by one of my friends, and then having noticed the #snowmanjourney Twitter hashtag, thought I'd play along, as it appears subsequently have been half the UK this morning (clearly slight exaggeration but I follow a broad spectrum of people on Twitter, some industry / adland, some "normal" personal users, and there's a fair mix of references).  Checking back to the John Lewis Facebook page this morning they've smartly refreshed the header image & icon into Christmas colours / snowman theme to go with the ad. Hardly marketing genius, but the little things are often overlooked. Nicely done.

Extra points also to be awarded for smart ad re-targeting too...  Sorry to demystify folks but it's no co-incidence that this leaderboard banner ad subsequently appeared on something else I was reading first thing.

A search for "John Lewis Christmas Advert 2012"  3 hours after my YouTube email (at which point I was viewer #20 of the ad) shows paid search live (tick!), and 18.7k results indexed already: Not bad for a few hours work, ok, well maybe some prior press release work too... but...


Feeling warm and fuzzy now?  Time to dash off and buy a nice toasty scarf from a retailer never knowingly undersold near you!   Another good example of connected cross-media execution and thinking, from a business that is demonstrating good integration of digital thinking beyond business-structure created silos.

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