Christmas comes but once a year – as does John Lewis’ much-heralded festive TV ad campaign. And, regular as clockwork, its Man on the Moon ad was released on Friday as part of the retailer’s £7m campaign.
As usual, it’s a heart-warming story played out over a now customary cover of a classic song, Oasis’ Half The World Away – and there’s no mention of the brand until the final frame.
The good news for the middle class bellweather is that YouGov’s BrandIndex Ad Awareness score shows the number of people who have seen the advert has rocketed by twenty five percentage points in five days.
The downside for the store, however, is that John Lewis’ Purchase Consideration score that measures whether a respondent would consider buying a product from a brand has not risen significantly in recent days.
However, John Lewis will expect a stronger performance over the coming weeks.
While it is still early for many even to contemplate Christmas shopping, these scores point towards the wider strategy of the campaign.
It may not immediately draw people into buying more John Lewis goods but, to some extent, this ironically may be the intention.
The retailer is obviously very popular all year round. The huge interest around its festive ad each year and its carefully crafted format engenders not only brand identity, but also trust in the product.
While rivals simply use their adverts to push their products, the launch of the John Lewis ad is now a notable part of the Christmas period – signalling the unofficial starting gun on festivities.
By highlighting a crucial message of lonely people at Christmas, and through its partnership with Age UK, John Lewis sets itself apart as an altruistic and thoughtful organisation. By extension its rivals’ Christmas TV ad campaigns may appear overly commercial.
The association with the season, and indeed the anticipation and expectation around its campaign, elevates John Lewis far above the level of visibility and engagement that its rivals can realistically hope for.