John Lewis had a galactic Christmas campaign budget, but it couldn’t prepare for this…

As the world ‘ooh-ed’ and ‘ahh-ed’ at John Lewis’ 2015 Christmas campaign, #ManOnTheMoon, I purposefully looked away. 

Avoiding the hype, I like to make my own decisions when it comes to ‘big deal’ media. As a result, I’ve not seen Lord of the Rings; I didn’t finish the Harry Potter series; and I never even attempted Homeland

So, when I did eventually get around to viewing the department store’s festive film short (along with almost 12m other YouTubers in the past week), although I wasn’t very impressed, I wasn’t disappointed either. 

However, what I did admire is the work John Lewis put in (again) to make this £7m money-making and marketing gold campaign memorable – for itself and Age UK.

The money 
Complementing the charity’s ‘no one should have no one at Christmas’ message, don’t be fooled into thinking John Lewis wasted a phenomenal budget just on the filming. Despite being blasted for its extravagance, the advert cost just £1m.

What did boost costs was John Lewis’ smartphone game and merchandise. After all, who wants to simply watch an advert when you can enjoy it wearing the matching pajamas too?

But, it’s not all self-gain. Some low-end products will raise money for Age UK. Not that you’d know any of this from watching the advert, which features zero campaign information or, indeed, Christmas gift inspiration. 

 How John Lewis' Christmas advert captures our emotions 

However, that’s John Lewis’ point. It’s (re)employed a strategy that prioritises making its customers feel good, opposed to ramming Christmas down our necks – allowing it to get away with launching in early November. 

The moon theme may be new, but John Lewis’ vision hasn’t changed a bit. The goal posts are the same, but we, as a nation, have come to enjoy these moving adverts.

In a society where we increasingly record our TV picks to fast forward through the sales pitches, big brands have transformed Christmas adverts into an industry. It began with the Coca-Cola trucks 20 years ago and we still can’t get enough. 

That first festive buzz (which gets earlier every year) causes us to become emotionally attached. 

Finally, the overarching campaign’s little marketing ‘moments’ give John Lewis’ communications team a range of stories to sell-in to the media. From consumer gift list features to charity partnership case studies, the opportunities are endless.

But, one they couldn’t plan (or, at least, pay for) is the fact that there’ll be a full moon this Christmas. 

And that’s why this classic brand is ‘out of this world’. 

What did you make of #ManOnTheMoon? 

Why we love John Lewis' Christmas advert 

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