John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016

So it’s that time of year again where every Marketing nerd professional gets all excited at the launch of CHRISTMAS ADVERTS! John Lewis’ Christmas advert (the only one that anyone reallyyy cares about) made its way into our lives this week and it dawned on me that I haven’t posted any ramblings on here since my John lewis 2013 post! That’s 3 whole years ago. I’ve been too busy with a real Marketing job these days and no longer just a Psychology student pretending I knew what was going on. So I thought I’d surprise you all with another post… about this years’ John Lewis advert…Be warned, you might not like it.

Okay so this year we had a teaser, which I liked the idea of… getting everyone excited about AN ADVERT! Not a television show, not a movie… but this was an advert for an advert. If that doesn’t show that JL have stolen Christmas then I don’t know what does. The teaser featured an adorable little dog watching a girl on a space hopper (which, may I add, wasn’t featured in the actual advert; sneakily advertising two products there, nice work team). Instantly I thought, oh here we go… it’s going to be a tear jerker because they’ve included a dog. People LOVE dogs. Did you know that, more people cry during a movie when a dog dies than when a human dies? So things were looking good for JL…

However, I was bitterly disappointed with the whole thing.

For those of you who haven’t seen the advert (then I don’t know what you’re playing at) the ad features some animals bouncing on a trampoline while a sad looking dog looks at them from inside the house, Christmas morning comes and the girl in the advert runs down to her present (the trampoline), only the dog beats her to it. The point is that John Lewis sells presents that everyone will love.

I get where they’re coming from, the animals were all playing together on the trampoline and the dog was looking sadly outside the window, desperately wanting a go. But where was the build up? This all happened in one night. Not like in 2015 where the little girl waves at the Man on the Moon through her telescope for many nights before Christmas, or 2011 where the little boy is counting down the days until Christmas. For me, showing Buster eagerly wanting to play over several nights would have engaged the emotion a bit more.

It also seemed a little more materialistic than previous years. Yes okay, we all know the point of an advert is to sell the product. But often John Lewis do such a good job of enticing people into the whole story behind it – sharing presents with those less fortunate, treating your parents and others who you love instead of being greedy. To me, this just seemed like John Lewis were trying to sell the most expensive toy possible (a giant trampoline, available in 2 sizes on their website… not to mention a whole range of new animal toys).

At the end of the day, John Lewis are still awesome and I idealise their Marketing team, their adverts are so anticipated now that it doesn’t really matter if they’re good or not because people are still going to be talking about it. Even if it’s to slate the advert, they’re still using that #BounceBounce and #BustertheBoxer all over Twitter . Plus, whatever features in their advert is going to sell and other retailers are going to be quickly trying to rustle up the same products! I personally loved how I received an email from Asda a couple of hours after the advert was released. The email was titled “Something to bounce about…” and inside was their attempt to sell me their £94 trampoline! Genius!

Also, does anyone else agree that perhaps they missed a trick with the track this year? Missed opportunity for a well-loved artist who we sadly lost in 2016 to be played as the theme song? David Bowie, Prince, Pete Burns (Ok, maybe not Pete Burns…).

Sorry about the waffle. Maybe I’ll be back again in the near future, or maybe in another 3 years for John Lewis Christmas Advert 2019!!