5 Marketing Lessons to Learn from This John Lewis Commercial

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Nov 2015
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Author : Pete Peranzo

Even though a lot of people complain about how early Christmas commercials are out, a few like me eagerly look forward to creative marketing ads and the ultimate showdown between rivals.

It’s officially Christmas when Coca Cola, KFC and Toys “R” US start rolling out animated, peppy, tear-jerking, inspiring or heartwarming spots.

There’s something about these commercials that first tug at your heart strings and then ultimately your purse strings.

This year, the Christmas ad that has warmed my heart is from John Lewis. Known in the UK for their amazing commercials, John Lewis has successfully managed to hook the US audience too this year.

I tried to gauge Twitterati’s sentiments about this ad and found that it was loved by almost everyone, age and gender no bar.

The ad has already caught the viral fever on social media with the hashtag #ManOnTheMoon retweeted over 65,000 times and YouTube video seen over 9 million times so far!

If you haven’t seen it already, here’s the latest 2015 Christmas advert from John Lewis, a through-and-through tearjerker.

(Here’s the link to this ad)

This ad is centered on the idea of a perfect, thoughtful gift, and of course, loneliness of people whom we forget in the fervor of Christmas festivities.

Everyone knows a ‘man on the moon’ in their life. It could be their neglected grandparents, distant aunts, or lonely neighbors. This ad manages to make you think about them and do something for them.

Basically the ad tells the story of a little girl and an old man who lives on the moon. The girl sees how lonely the old man on the moon is and thinks of various ways to reach him.

At one point it seems that the girl has forgotten about the old man. So imagine the surprise when the old man receives a package and opens it to find a telescope. A perfect gift for the old man to reach out to the little girl and drive away his loneliness, a perfect ending to a heartwarming story!

Above all, I think this ad gives valuable marketing lessons for the holiday season and even beyond it. So without further ado, here they are…

1. Be Thoughtful

This is the first and the most important lesson for your marketing campaign. It should connect with audience and make them connect with you. Thoughtful campaigns that meet customers’ needs always fare better than offer-based campaigns selling products that nobody wants.

Sarah Vizard, news editor of trade journal Marketing Week, said “There are definitely a lot more brands doing Christmas ads this year, but I think a lot of those brands who tried to compete with John Lewis by doing something emotional and creative have gone back to what you can buy in store.”

2. Be Disruptive

No Santa or fairies nor elaborate family dinners – this ad doesn’t show anything that the usual Christmas commercials do. It just portrays a simple idea on a larger-than-life, cosmic background and disrupts the usual conundrum of Christmas commercials.

This holiday season, try something new. Make sure your holiday promotions take a break from the usual run of the mill discount offers and spammy emails. Create meaningful and disruptive campaigns based on small and simple but powerful ideas.

3. Find New Ways to Market

You can see the girl trying to reach out to the old man in many different ways, until one finally succeeded.

The success of your marketing campaign lies in how effectively you make inroads to reach your audience. From website to social media to app marketing, try newer and different ways to ensure maximum reach.

4. Avoid the Sales Pitch

The theme of this John Lewis ad is loneliness amongst elderly and doesn’t include a typical sales pitch. Understand that during holiday season, people want to see more than sales messages. So avoid the usual sales pitch and bring your campaign to life through story telling.

5. Collaborate with a Charity

John Lewis made this ad in collaboration with Age UK. Their campaign is designed to help millions of elderly people and donate proceeds from their range of selected Christmas merchandise.

Not only the ad, but the whole campaign has been applauded widely because of its altruistic value, which is a far cry from the usual campaigns which are designed keeping sales chart in mind.

Over to You

This Christmas, you too can beat commercialization at its game by integrating your marketing campaign with relevant causes and charities, and make a real difference to your community.

I think John Lewis has managed to surpass everyone’s expectations with this ad. From their disruptive idea to their cross-demographic connection, the whole John Lewis campaign is a stroke of genius that provides valuable, timeless lessons to marketers.

Are you trying to do similar with your digital marketing or social campaigns? Please let us know in the comments.

 

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