MAA ad of the week: John Lewis gets Britain talking again

Somehow it seems that all’s right with the (ad) world when John Lewis pulls a classic Christmas campaign out of the bag and reclaims its place at the top of the tree.

adam&eveDDB’s “The Beginner” uses some of the retailer’s traditional tricks, like the build-up to the big reveal, but this year John Lewis has broken away from all those lookalikes of recent years. It’s created a grown-up story with a genuinely moving denouement and a rock solid charity initiative behind it.

Plus, for the first time, the John Lewis ad isn’t quite such a standalone piece – it seems to fit well with the retailer’s ongoing “For all life’s moments” positioning.

It’s had a lot of love on social media too, apart from a handful of the usual Twitter haters. According to Sprout Social, it had gained 217m potential impressions and attracted 10,500 messages by the afternoon of day one, compared to second placed Asda  (launched six days previously) with 118m and 7500 respectively.

There was a nice exchange between @Specsavers and @JohnLewisRetail:

Much has been made of the difficulty of marketing Christmas in a cost of living crisis, but the field is stronger this year than it has been for a while, with more brands than usual doing their own thing instead of creating one-note sentimental ads.

The retailers’ stories might be harder to tell after Christmas when the sales figures are in, but for now the investment in good creative work is paying off. They are not scrimping on the media budgets either – although the Christmas ad saturation during I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here is getting a bit much.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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