John Lewis’ Christmas campaigns are like a yearly event when they release; there is so much buzz and discussion around them, and they smash it every time with top-tier storytelling, heartfelt music, and a focus on values. But why does everyone particularly wait for this certain brand's Christmas ad more than the rest out there?

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the strategy behind this year’s amazing Christmas ad campaign ‘Snapper: The Perfect Tree' by John Lewis. Get Christmassy ready! 

Emotional Storytelling

At the core of John Lewis's Christmas ad strategy is a commitment to creating emotional connections. The retailer has mastered the art of storytelling, using each campaign to tug at the heartstrings of viewers. By weaving narratives that touch on universal themes like love, friendship, and the joy of giving, John Lewis positions itself not just as a shopping destination but as a brand that understands and celebrates the essence of the holiday season.

This year’s campaign featured a boy named Alfie becoming friends with Snapper the Venus flytrap. This angle aimed to encourage audiences to embrace new traditions, even if they appear to be strange. The reason for this? Charlotte Lock, Customer Director for John Lewis, said: “We are a nation that loves the traditions of Christmas - from classic traditions like pantos and putting up the tree to evolving new ones like crafting our own presents and Zoom get-togethers. Many of us have our own unique festive traditions, and that makes them even more special.” Even if the new tradition is having a venus fly trap spitting out presents!

The ‘Selling Tactic’ 

It’s not just a compelling story and highlighting the importance of new traditions, the ad still needs to have an element of selling. In their 2023 Christmas ad, how they promote their products is nothing short of festive - the venus flytrap eats the family's original presents and spits out John Lewis products that happen to be the ‘perfect’ gifts for the family members, showing you that this brand knows exactly what it's doing when it comes to promoting its products - cheeky product plug by the John Lewis creative team!

Integration with social media

When it comes to bringing their new Christmas ad campaigns to social media, it’s no exaggeration that they go viral. Why’s that? As soon as audiences see it online, there’s a huge discussion on every aspect of the video: their opinion, the storyline, visuals, or music. It’s all discussed, and there ends up being user-generated content (UGC) flashed through all platforms of viewers wanting to shout out their own opinions. You can’t deny that John Lewis truly knows how to get their community talking.

Use of music

John Lewis has this knack for picking soundtracks that are practically symphonies of emotion. The music isn't just background noise; it's the heartbeat of the entire ad. From the soft piano keys to the soulful vocals, every note is carefully chosen to resonate with the theme and enhance the overall mood. This year they decided to go bigger by getting Italian tenor/singer, Andrea Bocellia, to compose an original song just for the campaign, and people have not stopped talking about it. It goes to show that having some amazing music in your campaign can do wonders.

Cross-channel marketing

To get maximum reach for their campaigns, John Lewis takes a multi-channel approach. Instead of just producing the ad for TV, where only one set of audiences will see it, they go with sharing it across all online platforms and social media, which they believe will give the best results. This turns the ad into a shared experience for consumers, maximising its impact and getting the message across much further and faster. John Lewis shows that choosing the correct platforms for you to put your marketing on will drive your reach to amazing levels!

There we have it

A breakdown of the key factors of John Lewis’ ad strategy, from creating a compelling narrative, having a viral brand presence on social media, using the right music, to being on multiple channels. When we get down to it, it’s so easy to understand how these affect their overall ad campaign, which further shows that having a strategy is essential for any brand to become successful.

What’s next?

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