The British retailer, John Lewis, brought out its annual Christmas advert yesterday. For many British people, this tradition started in 2007 by the High Street retailer marks, unofficially at least, the countdown to Christmas.
Since its advent in 2007, the videos have tugged at the hearts of the British people. Some of the memorable videos are those of 2011, featuring a young boy impatiently waiting for Christmas Day to give his parents his Christmas present. Or the 2013 advert entitled The Bear and the Hare, which was set to a cover song by the British singer Lily Allen. For that advert, the retailer teamed with the charity Save the Children, and a portion of the proceeds from the song were donated to the charity’s Philippine Typhoon Appeal campaign.
British consumers had been nervous about what John Lewis would deliver this year. Since yesterday, the suspense had fallen. “Man on the Moon” is the story of a young girl trying to contact an old man living alone on the moon. Using a variety of means, which fail, she finally sends him a telescope and the old man gets to see Christmas Day on earth.
This year, the retailer teamed with the British charity Age Concern. According to Sarah Vizard, news editor of trade journal Marketing Week, “this campaign is another way of putting [emotion] across in a way that will resonate with customers. I think people will think it is really cute.”
And yes, people (some people) have found it cute. But for others, the advert didn’t move them.
Furthermore, they felt that John Lewis missed the point considering the strapline is “show someone they’re loved this Christmas.” It is felt that this advert will further highlight the reality of many old people who spend Christmas alone. Unless that is the intention of the retailer because as mentioned on its website, “John Lewis and Age UK are Partnering up this Christmas to help some of the million older people who will go for a month without speaking to anyone.”
Nevertheless, John Stewart has once again got its scoop. Despite many retailers bringing out Christmas adverts this year, this retailer’s was the most anticipated. And whether it missed the point or not, what matters in the world of consumerism is that people talking about you, and people are talking about John Lewis.