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GUEST COMMENT Could influencers be your answer to the John Lewis ad?

John Lewis 2020 Christmas ad: how can you compete? (Image: John Lewis)

The John Lewis and Partners Christmas ad has marked the start of the festive period for many years, Amelia Neate explains why it’s the perfect marketing method and how influencers could be your brands answer to the famous John Lewis ad

The most talked about Christmas ad 

The clocks have gone back, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! has begun and the countdown to Christmas is officially on: that can only mean one thing – the return of the John Lewis and Partners Christmas ad.  

After a turbulent and somewhat difficult year, many people have spent the last few months speculating about the concept behind the latest ad, or if it will even happen at all.  With fans of the ad making their predictions and debating whether we would be left experiencing happy tears, nostalgia or even crying into our hot chocolate, John Lewis has yet again pulled it out the bag – living up to the anticipation of millions. 

There are so many Christmas ads that circulate both traditional media in the form of TV and radio, as well as across social media, however it is always John Lewis that is the brand and ad, on everyone’s lips. But what makes it so special? 

John Lewis’ ‘The Long Wait’ campaign from 2011 was considered the Christmas ad that began this whole phenomenon, and for great reason too. Since then, John Lewis and Partners have set the gold standard for brands creating festive ads around the world.  

Why it’s so successful 

Over the years, it has become such a pivotal part of the festive period, and John Lewis Christmas ads are renowned for their ability to create such powerful emotions and connections between the campaign and its viewers, which become all the more apparent during the most wonderful time of the year. 

From tears of joy and sadness to bringing back sweet childhood memories, each John Lewis ad brings with it a personal, relatable and emotional feel. As a consumer, these are the things that draw us in, captivating us until we are one step closer to making that all important purchase.  

Making it relatable to everyone in one way or another, this ensures that viewers are truly engaged with not just the advert, but the campaign and the charities that they so often support. 

With the campaigns being created in video format, this not only allows consumers to connect with it on a deeper level, but it also makes it much easier to digest and share.  

Easily accessible across all social media channels, the John Lewis Christmas ads also come with their very own hashtag, aiding in visibility and shareability whilst raising brand awareness. 

The ads are also recognised for their poignant use of songs, which are often sang by well-known artists and celebrities covering classics.  

A celebrity element always bodes well, as it gives the consumer another reason to relate and connect. And in 2018, Sir Elton John became the very first artist to star in the advert, as well as provide the music.  

John Lewis and Partners have shared some incredible Christmas ads over the years, all of which are nothing short of being simply iconic. From ‘Monty the Penguin’, ‘The Bear and the Hare’ to ‘The Man on the Moon’ and ‘The Boy & The Piano’, the retailer has touched the hearts of millions, creating awareness about incredibly important topics. 

Are influencers the answer for your brand? 

To put it simply, yes, they really are the answer.  As I’ve mentioned, emotion is at the very core of sales and marketing. And influencers are the perfect way to provide exactly that.  

Influencers are renowned for their ability to create innovative and engaging content, that is both easy to digest and easy to share across multiple platforms.  

When working as part of a partnership, influencers become a part of the brand, meaning that their recognisable face also comes with an element of expectation.   

Consumers begin to associate the influencer with the brand, and vice versa. The two soon go hand in hand, becoming a pivotal part of the influencer marketing industry. Social media influencers are able to reach people on a truly emotional level. They are the epitome of relatability and personalisation, allowing them to create touch points with their followers. 

Professional dancer Dianne Buswell and singer-songwriter Tallia Storm teamed up with Dove to encourage body positivity as part of their #ArmsUp campaign.  

As women within the entertainment industry, they understand the pressures associated with physical appearance, and this campaign raises awareness of those very issues.  With a focus on underarms and feeling insecure, Dove, along with Dianne and Tallia, helped other women feel less alone – creating that bond and connection with consumers. 

People’s lives have changed. Their purchasing decisions are being altered. But something that will always remain relevant, is emotion and relatability.  


Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at Influencer Matchmaker 

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