For many people, the John Lewis Christmas advert is as much a symbol of Christmas as stockings and Santa Claus himself. The retailer has managed to overtake competitors (such as Coca Cola) and take the champion of Christmas adverts crown.The adverts’ popularity is evidenced by the fact that broadcasters now face a battle to win the right to exclusively first air the advert with Channel 4 winning in 2014. For an advertising campaign to reach such levels of success that channels are starting bidding wars to get the first showing, it is hard to believe that the first John Lewis Christmas advert first aired less than a decade ago.
The retailer’s Christmas takeover began in 2007 with the launch of their first festive advert entitled ‘Shadows’ costing an estimated £6 million. In recent years, the most notable campaign was ‘The Bear and the Hare’ story which showed the special friendship between a bear and a hare, the advert was so popular that the song featured in it, sung by Lilly Allen, became an instant hit in UK charts.
The question we find ourselves asking is, how have these John Lewis adverts managed to become so successful? There is one consistent theme which runs throughout, and that is Emotion.
Each annual advert capitulates the importance of caring, giving, childhood, togetherness and love. Whilst many Christmas adverts attempt to incorporate these themes into their festive campaigns, few do so in such an effective way as John Lewis. It is now that time of year where we are beginning to approach the festive season which means the 2015 John Lewis Christmas advert will soon be due. So what can we expect this year? Undoubtedly John Lewis will once again produce an advert which will tug at the audience’s heart-strings, an advert bursting with care, love, joy and Christmas sparkle.