Battle of the Christmas ads: Why John Lewis won our hearts

Advice & Thought Leadership > Battle of the Christmas ads: Why John Lewis won our hearts

You know it’s nearly Christmas when all the major retailers try to win hearts and minds by unveiling their much-anticipated festive ad and PR campaigns! Retailers are well aware of the immense power of utilising emotion as a persuasion technique, and that often, emotion triumphs over logic. So how do retailers and their PR and Advertising companies use an emotional pull to persuade us to invest in them and purchase their products?

Emotion Wins

The phrases, ‘go with your gut’ or ‘follow your heart’ are often quoted flippantly but there is now substantial evidence to support the role that emotion plays in decision making. Antonio Damasio’s clinical studies of brain lesions demonstrated that patients were unable to make decisions when the area responsible for emotion was impaired. Often, seemingly logical decisions will have an emotional influence.

This concept is reflected in the 2016 ad campaigns, which tug on the emotional heart strings to provide an uplifting message, with many ads using ordinary people, as opposed to celebrity endorsements and real-life situations to be more relatable to consumers.

We have collated and dissected the top, most influential 2016 Christmas ad campaigns and looked at how they have used emotion to win us over!

The Power of PR & Social Media

Boots – Gift of Christmas

Although Christmas is a time for family, the Boots ad exposes the sheer number of women, nearly half a million, who work hard in numerous roles throughout the Christmas period, from retail to the emergency services. The ad draws on the emotional roots of the ‘forgotten’ workers, many of whom work throughout the night to ensure trains & emergency services run smoothly over the festive season, and, thus, deserve to be pampered. Offering ‘the gift of beauty’ workers are transformed from their everyday uniforms to looking beautiful in Boots products. A big change from last year’s product emphasis, 2016’s ad campaign focuses on the concept of celebrating workers who give so much of themselves to the community and ‘sacrifice Christmas day’, which no doubt will resonate with many.

Marks&Spencer – Mrs Claus

The second most talked about Christmas ad campaign features Mrs Claus, showcasing her story and her dedication to sourcing presents to individuals loved ones. Unlike Santa, Mrs Claus listens to children who need presents for other people, such as Jake who, despite their love hate relationship, wants to provide his sister with a thoughtful present to show his appreciation. Instead of a sleigh, Mrs Claus travels in style delivering presents in a helicopter. Capitalising on the magic of Santa and his wife, this advert successfully appeals to kids, and also to parents who understand the stress and importance of having a smooth-running Christmas. In addition to the advert, M&S are utilising PR to spread the word of #LoveMrsClaus, with ‘Mrs Claus’ taking over M&S’s twitter account and, stated in Marketing Week, an army of ‘Mrs Claus’ will be in stores offering free presents as random acts of kindness.

John Lewis – #BusterTheBoxer

In my opinion, this ad campaign has won the battle of the Christmas ads, especially considering the overwhelming use of the #BusterTheBoxer hashtag on all forms of social media and 15 million plus views on YouTube alone. This year John Lewis’ heart-warming ad featuring the adorable Buster dog communicated a great sense of happiness. This was a refreshing change from last years tear-jerker ‘Man on the Moon’ advert in collaboration with Age UK, which sought to raise awareness of how lonely the elderly can be at Christmas. Despite a chaotic 2016 with Brexit, this funny, light-hearted advert showing Buster and the rest of the animals’ joy in trying the trampoline helped uplift the nations spirits. Witnessing the excitement on the young girls face on the eve of Christmas and on first sight of her present, brings back nostalgic moments of the real magic of Christmas, successfully associating it with John Lewis.

So there you have it, the lowdown on how emotion impacts adverts, sales and business in every sense, highlighting the importance of being personable and resonating with your target audience.

As a specialist agency, we understand how vital these concepts are when instigating effective PR and marketing campaigns.

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of success. We can aid you and your business, call us on 01483 537 890 or, alternatively, email us [email protected]

Follow: Twitter@PRexpertsUK  Linkedin:brookscomm

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