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Christmas 2015: Tear-jerkers vs. Edge-of-seaters


Like most of the country last Friday, we at EMR were glued to our screens for the big reveal of this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert. And they didn’t fail to deliver another family-orientated, water-works inducing festive story.

Getting past the tissues and the fluff, the bottom line comes down to profit and creating the strategy which will generate the most Christmas sales. That’s the rub for marketing professionals in the boardroom. So it was with interest that we also watched the new Argos Christmas ad, launched on the same day, with a focus on extreme sports to promote its new same-day delivery service alongside hashtag #justcantwait.

We couldn’t resist asking marketers which approach (traditional vs. trail-blazing) they thought would ultimately lead to the most Christmas cash for these leading retailers. In our snap survey of professionals, traditional cheer wiped the floor with zorbing Minions with 86% of marketers indicating the John Lewis ad would drive the most sales over the festive period.

Marketers are always told to innovate and get ahead of the curve; whether it be the rise of social media, mobile or experiential marketing. However, the beautifully crafted and emotionally wrenching John Lewis advert still seems to top the lot, proving that some winning formulae just don’t let up.

Argos shouldn’t despair though. They didn’t commit the faux pas Harvey Nichols, Lidl and Currys PC World are all guilty of – inadvertently creating adverts along the “gift-face” theme. A long-standing Christmas concept, without a doubt, but now arguably an over-used one.

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