What can your brand learn from the John Lewis Christmas ad?

Every year I wait impatiently for John Lewis to release their Christmas advert to see which of my heart strings they are going to pull and how they will make me feel.

This year’s ad featuring ‘Moz the Monster’ is about bringing to life the power of children’s imagination and the joys of great friendship.

John Lewis Christmas ads have been part of a successful long term brand building campaign using Christmas tradition to connect their brand around family values, sharing and wonderment with their audience – and the strategy is working.

The Christmas campaigns have been running since 2011 and have been attributed to an average of 16% increase in sales over the festive season between 2012-2015. They are also the most shared ads on the internet with the 2016 John Lewis Christmas ad being viewed over 25 million times.

Successful brands know how to build connections with their customers and that is to do it with emotion. Emotional connections rise above superficial pricing and convenience meaning customers stay loyal for the long haul and are less likely to defect to competitors.

Simplistically to build emotional connections with your customers consider the following:

  1. Make your customer a priority of your business
  2. Listen to your customer and demonstrate how you understand their everyday needs
  3. Develop your company personality by letting its human out – people connect with the people
  4. Be consistent in the delivery of your company personality in everything you do and say

Consumers define themselves by the brands they use and the more connected they are to your brand the more likely they are to become advocates for you and amplify your message to their family and friends.

Like John Lewis, building your brand is a long term strategy, and incorporating emotion is invaluable in differentiating your brand from competitors and help create a deep seated relationship between your business and your customer.

Now getting back to this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad. Did the ad make me feel warm and fuzzy and connect me emotionally with the essence of Christmas as they have in previous year's? The short answer is no. But I’m swimming against the tide, Brandwatch is reporting consumer sentiment is running at 86% positive and 14% negative so it looks like John Lewis have another success story on their hands.

What do you think of the 2017 John Lewis Christmas ad compared with previous year's?

Tippex - having fun while building their brand

What better way to build your brand and product education than developing interactive fun clip on YouTube.  This is exactly what Tippex did when it developed “A hunter shoots a bear”.

The concept is simple, the audience which represents the hunter can choose to shoot the bear, or white out shoot and develop their own scenario which may include having dinner with the bear, marrying the bear or gardening with the bear just to mention a few.

With almost 17 million views, ‘A hunter shoots a bear’ has taken the Tippex brand into homes and offices across the globe with a simple brand promise of being able to white things out and start again.

With 65% of consumers considering themselves overwhelmed by too many advertising messages and 60% believing that advertising is not relevant to them (Porter and Golan 2006), marketers face ongoing challenge to understand how to reach and communicate with their customer and potential customer in new and innovative ways.

This clip has been posted thousands of times on the internet, it appears in blogs, it is used as an example of great viral marketing in numerous marketing papers and journals.  While it has been described as in all manner using textbook terminology such as an; excellent example of viral marketing, great cut through, getting the message across etc etc, too many have missed the most important part of the campaign is that it is fun.

David Lewis posted on his blog that he and his daughter spent time together using “A Hunter Shoots A Bear” during their summer vacation, posting the options of how you can interact with the bear.  I tested the clips appeal with my 5 year old nephew some time ago and the response was amazing.  We must have spent over half an hour having fun interacting with the clip.

Tippex’s “A Hunter Shoots a Bear” delivers an interactive fun clip that has broad appeal, entices people to share it to create viral opportunities while delivering brand awareness and product education.