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John Lewis Magic of Christmas Marketing out now!

It is true to say that a key part of the build up to Christmas for many marketers is the keen anticipation of the latest Christmas ad offering from John Lewis. And this year is no exception; within two hours of launching the trademark tearjerker John Lewis advert, the company was revelling in the news that it had clocked up 23,000 mentions on social media and almost six million views online by the end of the first day.

Other retailers and big brand names also chose to release their Christmas offering but got nowhere near the figures that the £1 million production commanded.

So what is the reason for this winning formula? Quite simply the creatives have successfully tapped into current topical themes and combined it with a good old fashioned pluck at the heart strings that even the most hard-faced can’t help but smile at.

The two minute ad depicts features a young girl striking up a connection with an elderly man living alone on the moon. Space travel and exploration continues to top the news and the sad issue of the growing number of old people enduring loneliness conveys a genuine heartfelt message that will do much to support the work of Age UK.

By drawing the audience into a story that doesn’t blatantly shout buy my products or services, John Lewis is engaging with the public through shared important values. Admittedly, the use of the telescope might trigger ideas for those who are stuck for present ideas but it has been used as a metaphor for connecting the young and old together. John Lewis is seen as a loving family brand and is ultimately rewarded in sharing those values by gaining the audience’s business and loyalty. Top that with a great cover song, in this case the Oasis track ‘Half The World Away’ and you have also created a Christmas top ten hit.

Creative content marketing is the essence of the John Lewis ads and the reason year on year we eagerly await the latest story, buying into the hype surrounding the campaign as if it is the launch of a mega blockbuster complete with teasers and online speculation.

John Lewis once again has struck gold with this advert. If I were part of the John Lewis creative team, I’d be penning a John Lewis Magic of Marketing guidebook. It’s sure to be the top of every marketer’s Christmas wish list…

Steve Lodge: Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.