John Lewis’ new home insurance ad – in which a small boy dances in a dress to Stevie Nicks’ Edge of Seventeen – has been described as “a glorious antidote to toxic ‘boys will be boys’ messaging” and “everything wrong with modern Britain”.
Data from YouGov BrandIndex UK shows that the public were aware of the campaign: between the commercial’s launch on 11 October and 20 October Ad Awareness scores – a measure of whether Britons have seen an ad for a brand in the past two weeks – rose from 10.4 to 18.1 (+7.7).
But if it is everything wrong with modern Britain, modern Britain hasn’t caught on: John Lewis’ Impression scores, which track overall sentiment towards a brand, barely moved from 43.4 to 43.1 (-0.3).
The same goes for Consideration, which saw a slight decline from 38.6 to 37.9 (-0.7), and Index scores (a measure of overall brand health, and one that fell by -0.1 from 39.1 to 39.0). Whether the ad is a travesty of conventional masculinity or a triumph over it, it hasn’t had a dramatic impact on overall opinions of John Lewis.
Restricting analysis to the conversation around John Lewis reveals a limited uptick in Buzz scores – a metric which asks consumers if they’ve heard anything positive or negative about a brand recently – among the general population: rising from 7.2 to 8.1 between 11 October and 20 October, peaking at 10.0 on 17 October.
But if we dig a little deeper into demographic data, we can see that Buzz was lower among over-50s – over the same period it fell from 7.1 to 4.0 among this group (-3.1) – and significantly higher among 18-34s: scores increased from 6.7 to 17.1 across this nine-day period (+10.4).
If older Britons are less comfortable with the ad, it seems to have earned a positive reception among a valuable younger demographic.