In the same way that advent calendars, Christmas lights and Mariah Carey wailing is synonymous with Christmas, the latest television advert from John Lewis has officially meant that Christmas is upon us.
Having been built up online with three teasers, #bouncebounce – the first one receiving almost 3,000 likes and hundreds of comments, not to mention the confusion over the A-Level student advert spoof, the Christmas ad was finally released on Wednesday evening on ITV.
This time, the festive commercial introduces us to its latest star, Buster the Boxer, as well as a series of animals, including a pair of foxes, a badger, a squirrel and a hedgehog.
More joyful that previous campaigns, the high street chain has neatly captured the message of ‘giving a gift that everyone loves’ – and once again, the ad doesn’t just end in the two minute commercial, but audiences can take home stuffed toys of Buster and his animal friends, or you can even buy yourself a pair of pyjamas or a mug with Buster emblazoned on it. This isn’t unusual for John Lewis, who in 2014 introduced Monty the Penguin to the world, and reaped the benefits as sales of the stuffed penguin went through the roof.
However this year, John Lewis has ramped it up once again with the addition of virtual reality (VR) technology using Oculus Rift VR at the retailer’s flagship London store, a 360-degree film experience on John Lewis’ website and YouTube, and a bespoke Snapchat lens to transform users into Buster. With a sprinkling of corporate social responsibility (CSR) thrown in for good measure, some of the profits from the sales of the merchandise will also be donated to The Wildlife Trusts.
The cutesy ad, supporting merchandise and savvy technology, accompanied by the warm fuzzy feeling of giving to charity, makes the John Lewis advert already a firm favourite amongst shoppers and audiences alike during the Christmas countdown.
This is of the course the retailer’s goal, with the Christmas ad being their most profitable ROI. John Lewis head of marketing Rachel Swift explained, “Our TV campaigns at Christmas are our most profitable ROI, which demonstrates that when you invest in creativity and in creating memorable brand building campaigns you not only create short term commercial success, you build the brand over the long term.”
Swift continued, acknowledging the commercial advantages of amplifying marketing around the Christmas campaign, going beyond the TV advert to enhance and engage with the storytelling element. “Those amplifications have been incredibly successful in providing a return on investment. Those creative sprinkles on the top have actually been really positive for us.”
Those creative sprinkles are something that all companies should be considering, whether they are national retailers, or independent local companies. A combination of marketing tools does not only create a long lasting campaign impression, but can help build brand profile and longevity.
Although not all brands have budgets and a large creative agency like John Lewis, companies can easily engage with customers across different platforms in a way that is both cost and brand effective. This can include introducing audiences to your products and services via Facebook Live, asking customers to take a snap of your product and share it online with a hashtag or simply inviting them to like your social media accounts for exclusive news and offers.
This Christmas, why not have a think about different ways to engage with your target market. For help and support in doing so, please contact Kyle!
And for now, pour yourself some cocoa and check out the John Lewis adverts!