Adwatch 07.12.11: John Lewis

Article excerpt

The department-store chain has proved that 'sweet' really works with emotive ad.

Mark Hurst, Creative director, MWO

We've all heard about the John Lewis ad. The little boy who gives a little back. A compelling story from a company where employees are its shareholders. Never knowingly undersold, never at odds with people, either inside the company or without.

The line between customer and employee blurs for such an enlightened partnership, proving that branding should work inside and out, and that when people walk through the doors with their eye on a quality bargain, they meet people on the tills and the shop floor that understand them.

John Lewis understands people and the basic human need for foraging for goods rather than hunting. It tries to understand people's lives. When it applies its ethics to its advertising, it makes it look easy.

So what's been revealed in this ad? What did John Lewis deliver? A kid that doesn't believe in Santa and a morality tale more Dickens than Elf Would you Adam and Eve it?

I'm not sure I trust a kid that young who doesn't believe in Santa, and he's a bit sickly sweet dropping off a pressie with mum and dad. No, he's not to be trusted at all. If you search YouTube for 'John Lewis Shining Christmas', you'll find out why this is all happening.

He's actually the kid from The Shining, the little boy who scoots around on his trike repeating 'red rum' ('Murder' backwards). …