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John Lewis: #ManOnTheMoon

On Friday major retailer John Lewis marked what many declare ‘the start of Christmas’ when they launched their highly anticipated festive ad campaign. Famed for their story-telling Christmas ads that are renowned for tugging on the heartstrings; the 2015 offering was created in conjunction with Age UK and centred around not leaving the elderly alone this yuletide – cue the tears!

The much-hyped ad went live via social media on Friday morning, and by lunchtime #ManOnTheMoon, the campaign hashtag, was brimming with chatter about the brand. By the end of the day, the parodies had begun rolling in and you couldn’t escape people talking about the ad, the retailer, it’s soundtrack (which, by the way, is a delicate rendition of Oasis’ ‘Half The World Away’ by little known Norwegian singer Aurora), and the ads message.

Over recent years the ads have proved hugely successful, impacting not only the brand’s bottom line throughout the competitive Christmas season, but on the sales of the oh so important soundtrack that accompanies it. Last year, Lily Allen’s rendition of Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ brought both versions of the track into the charts straight away, and kept them there for the entirety of last Christmas. The same has already happened this year, with Aurora and Oasis jumping to 3 & 4 on iTunes respectively within hours of the ad going live.

This year however, the charity tie-in with Age UK will see the huge marketing power John Lewis‘ Christmas campaign has impact on something more than retailer profit and lining the already bustling pockets of record companies. It’ll see a real change in people’s attitude to the elderly this Christmas. I say this with such certainty because after just one weekend of the ad being launched Age UK has already announced an increase in volunteers and donations and they’re currently receiving a donation every two minutes! According to Marketing Week, John Lewis have also promised to give a % of total sales made during the campaign to the charity, and they’re actively encouraging customers to donate by installing moon pop-ups in 11 of it’s stores offering people the chance to find out more about how Age UK is helping.

Marketing and advertising amongst retailers and high street brands is competitive year-round, but at Christmas it becomes cut-through. In this arena of huge ad spend (John Lewis spent £7million on this years campaign) and the desperation to have the biggest, best, most emotional ad campaign with the most shares, the most likes and ultimately the most impact, I personally think it’s pretty sweet that one of the UK’s biggest brands is using their platform to raise an important issue.

It’ll be interesting to see how rivals compete as the festive season unfolds, but in the meantime we’d love to know what you think of the #ManOnTheMoon campaign! 🌛

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