John Lewis tops Christmas ad chart with Buster the Dog
As the ever-iconic and eagerly anticipated John Lewis TV advert launches today it’s become an intrinsic part of the festive season – indeed the cultural conversation, the zeitgeist. I take my hat off to its comms team and agency roster. Not only have they produced yet another excellent, heart-warming, feel good ad, starring Buster (otherwise known as Biff) the Boxer, but over the last five years John Lewis has built up such a following and expectation for its Christmas ad that it, rather than the legendary ‘Holidays are coming’ Coca Cola ad, has come to be recognised as signalling the start of the festive season (in the UK anyway). No mean feat.
So high has the anticipation been this year that some people were actually taken in by a fake video made by a student last weekend titled The Snow Globe. It followed the story of a snowman who finds love after being trapped in a snow globe. By Sunday, nearly 400,000 people had watched an imitation ad created by A-level student Nick Jablonka (who’s now been offered a job with a PR agency). With our PR hats on, we’re not sure if that was indeed a PR stunt by John Lewis?
The actual John Lewis ad however this year has everything a Marketeer (and retailer) could dream of – anticipation, talkability, a huge social media campaign featuring the hashtag #bustertheboxer (which received over 39,000 mentions online by 11.30 on the day it was launched), a snapchat lense (only available whilst in store, of course!), Occulus Rift headset to bounce with the animals (in store) (everyone loves animals right?), the connection to a worthy charity with its donation to the Wildlife Trust for every plush soft toy bought and a heart-warming festive story. Now more than ever commercial and reputational impact is an essential measurement metric for marketing and PR campaign success, so we will be eagerly following this story to see if it does do the holy grail of driving sales for John Lewis as the most competitive time of the year in the retail space.
Well done John Lewis, well done. Christmas starts here….