I’m a sucker for the John Lewis Christmas Advert.
Each year, nothing marks the start of the festive season better than the release of this short cinematic masterpiece.
Yes, it’s still November, I know, but it’s time for Christmas now.
And I say this as someone involved in planning our village Christmas Lights Switch On from March onwards and planning Christmas Tree marketing for a client from April!
But John Lewis and Partners had a particular challenge to overcome this year.
We’re in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.
Price inflation is running at a 4o-year-high, and the last thing their customers want to see (even posh customers who shop at John Lewis!) is a big budget television advert telling them to spend money on…stuff.
That’s not to say this advert is cheap. The estimated production and distribution cost of The Beginner (the title of their 2022 Christmas advert) is £7 million.
The advert didn’t feature crashed spacecraft and CGI aliens this year.
It did tug on the heartstrings and reminded the viewer what Christmas is all about. And yes, I shed a small tear at the end. Well done, John Lewis (and their agency, adam&eveDDB)
All social media content marketing right now should recognise the challenges customers face. Times are far from easy.
With energy bills, mortgages and food prices going through the roof, it would be insensitive to ignore this plight and proceed with business as usual.
Marketing shouldn’t stop. The tone needs addressing, though.
A slowing or contracting economy isn’t necessarily a sign that sales volumes will fall; many businesses perform very well during a recession.
Taking the long view with your marketing and applying the right tone to messages at the right time will help endear your brand to customers for years to come.