John Lewis proves that (b+s) x er = a

November 12, 2014 10:01 pm Published by

or [Brand + Story] x Emotional Response = Awareness.

Last night I found myself looking up the new John Lewis add on YouTube. (If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860). So what? You might think. Well, here’s what – I would contest that in what it achieves; this could well be the perfect advert.

This is why…

I am not a John Lewis shopper. I have no particular opinion on John Lewis. There isn’t one in the town where I live. And yet, I made a special effort to search out the advert because I had heard people talking about it. On reflection, I had also read about it in a newspaper and heard it mentioned on the radio, before being part of the actual conversation spurred me into action.

This can only be good. I am already thinking about the brand before I have seen the advert. But here’s the thing that really stands out, the ad contains hardly any branding (except for the John Lewis logo right at the end). Nor does it contain much that relates to the brand. No one goes shopping, nothing is bought or sold, there is no product – although I guess they may now be hawking fluffy penguins. What we see is a really simple story about a child and his imagination, about friendship and love and families and parents. It’s a good story because it drags you in, it charms you and it has enough humour and dead pan delivery to keep it just on the right side of sentimentality. Not bad for…

Okay, so I didn’t laugh or cry, but I did smile and I did feel kind of warm inside. And this is where I think the advert wins. It has created a positive emotional response that the brand wants to associate itself with. As I said earlier, I don’t care about John Lewis, I know I am being manipulated, but somehow, subliminally, I am also letting this happen. So right now, for me at least, I am slightly embarrassed to admit that the following is true…

John Lewis + Boy and his Penguin x Nice feeling = John Lewis is good

Or to put it another way

(Brand + Story) x Emotional Response = Awareness

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