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John Lewis’ Christmas Ad Catches Fire

It’s already that time of year again. Today John Lewis has filled our timelines with yet another festive advert to warm our hearts and get us into the Christmas spirit. Over the years John Lewis has reigned over the Christmas ads by creating stories and cute characters that entices audiences and creates a huge buzz around their videos.

But is Excitable Edgar enough to keep John Lewis on top this Christmas? I’ve seen so many mixed reviews today, some about how they adore Edgar and have cried whilst watching the ad, yet some have been disappointed and let down by this years’ attempt. So, what is it that John Lewis is doing right/wrong? Well, I have a few questions myself…

Does the ‘cute factor’ continue to work for John Lewis? We can see that from each John Lewis advert over the years, characters such as Monty the Penguin, Moz the Monster and the Snowman all have that adorability where people just can’t seem to get enough of them. But is this a long-lasting strategy? I think some people are starting to want more from John Lewis, more originality and emotion. People want to cry at their ads, that seems to be an easy way of measuring its success.

Are these characters just a marketing technique? Lovable characters are immediately made into merchandise of all sorts from slippers to plush toys to pyjamas. But are their motives behind this genuine or is this just a clever way of increasing sales over the Christmas period. We will never know the answer to this (just a bit of food for thought). It is understandable, an advert is there to make sales. John Lewis do think ahead and are able to cause emotion and a sense of Christmas through their ads whilst increasing sales. Pretty clever really.

Have John Lewis cracked under the pressure? For a decade now the brand has nailed their Christmas adverts and are renowned for their unique and moving content. But has their time come? Isn’t there only so many times you can repeat the same formula of a cute character, a sad story line and an emotive song? But somehow, John Lewis continue to draw their audience in and create that buzz where people do count down the days till the advert is released. So, I am assuming that people have a sense of brand loyalty to John Lewis. Whether they are an actual purchasing customer or not, I think most of us could say we get a little bit excited when they release their advert every year. I am that person, and I believe that’s brand loyalty in some respect.

Why a dragon? Admittedly, Edgar is a very cute dragon. But of all characters they could have gone with, why a dragon this year? Some say that Game of Thrones has had a huge influence here, but I think John Lewis are using Edgar as a representation for something bigger. Stereotypically, dragons are quite fierce and scary. Edgar is the complete opposite. He is a dragon scared of breathing fire and the effects he is having on the people around him. Many of us can feel like an Edgar. A bit out of our comfort zone and not fully feeling like we fit in, scared of the talents we have. But John Lewis’ message says to help those around us at Christmas, to be kind and lend a helping hand.

John Lewis seem to nail their Christmas advert every single year without fail. But is it time for a change up in their strategy in order to keep things fresh and excitable, or stick to what they know and what works for them? Who knows, but I am now going to watch Excitable Edgar for the millionth time today.

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