We all have our favourite festive traditions that we look forward to throughout the year. Putting up the Christmas tree, eating your first mince pie of the season, watching Home Alone for the millionth time, the list goes on. But for most of us, Christmas really starts when the John Lewis Christmas advert has been released.
The Christmas advert phenomenon has developed over the past decade and become somewhat of a tradition for many of us. Retailers have followed John Lewis’ lead as these adverts have transformed into two minute mini-movies. Whether you turn on your TV to find Buddy the Elf causing chaos in ASDA or find yourself following the adventures of a carrot called Kevin, adverts transform in the festive season.
Many of these uplifting adverts pull on our heart strings to leave much of the nation misty-eyed, with John Lewis’ being no exception. John Lewis was iconic as they were the pioneers of shifting seasonal adverts; from showcasing a conveyor belt of products available to purchase, to storytelling with a strong emotional thread. Whether it be forest friends buying an alarm clock for a bear to see Christmas for the first time, or an excitable dragon finding his purpose lighting the Christmas pudding, the storyline has a tendency to move us.
Over the years Monty the penguin, the Man on the moon and the Hare and the Bear have all become somewhat iconic Christmas figures. The adverts capture the public’s imagination through showing rather than telling, while at the same time producing toys that become bestsellers and music that becomes an instant chart topper.
Typically a retailer like John Lewis accepts around 70% of transactions between October and January, as Christmas shopping and the January sales take over the population. Traditionally John Lewis is perceived as a high end shop, however often the storyline of the advert encourages people who wouldn’t normally shop there to treat someone they love at Christmas.
Having straplines like ‘Show them how much you care’ or, as with this year’s advert, placing a charitable cause at its core, the advert helps to further resonate with the hearts of the audience. This approach also encourages further sharing on social platforms as it ignites conversations about important issues that need more attention.
As a result, this year was no different, so it was no surprise that on the day of its release ‘The Beginner’ created a huge amount of Twitter traffic and live reaction videos being posted all over socials. Such strategic marketing captures the hearts of the public year after year without fail.
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