Posted 9th November 2015 | By Jade Larkin, SEM Manager

It seems to roll around so quickly. Not Christmas, the John Lewis Christmas advertisement.

On Friday, we watched the ad together here at ExtraMile Communications. #ManOnTheMoon was a little bit different to what we expected, but included some regularly used ingredients (female vocal cover of a popular song, a child doing something nice for somebody else...). It was met with mixed responses. Some of the comments were:

"I want to cry. Why is their advert so sad this year?"

"I bet you can buy the telescope for about £200 on their website."

"How cute. I'm starting my Christmas shopping next week."

Like it or not, the annual advert is guaranteed to get an opinion from everybody as it is presented to (forced upon) us early November every year.

So why does the John Lewis advert get so much more attention than other big brands competing for our Christmas spending every year?

It symbolises the beginning of Christmas for many, kick-starting Christmas advertising and turning our attention to festive marketing content. It's almost as if we are not as receptive to Christmas advertising prior to the John Lewis ad (because it's too early and John Lewis hasn't said it's Christmas yet), but once it's out, we're comparing and contrasting the content we see, using the John Lewis campaign as a marker to measure all other efforts against. And this has become a habit.

John Lewis's repeated advertising successes, monumental spend and integrated campaigns mean that we look forward to their content year after year. And the simple narratives mean that the message behind the advertisement is never missed.

Emotional content = engagement

Emotional content is often key to a successful content marketing campaign, and this is something that adam&eveDBB, the creative agency behind the ads has capitalised on for a few years now. People want to share and talk about something they've seen that has stirred some sort of emotion in them, whether it be sadness, joy or excitement - we want to tell people.

And content that inspires people to do something is even better. The charitable spin on this year's #ManOnTheMoon ad has got people thinking about the one million older people who often go one month without speaking to anybody.

The success of these advertisements year after year shows us that great content will always reign - it means we're 100 times more likely to buy something with a moon on it from John Lewis. A great content strategy works for pretty much every brand out there, and can also do wonders for your Google rankings.

As we get nearer to December, I'm looking forward to seeing how other advertisements compare. I'm also looking forward to seeing how that guy called John Lewis (not at all associated with the department store) replies to the Tweets he probably braces himself for every Christmas...

Written by Jade Larkin, Copywriting and SEO Assistant at ExtraMile Communications

At ExtraMile we try to take an hour out each week to look around us at what others do and to gain inspiration and to admire people's creativity. Each post in this series is one staff member's take on the world of web, design and things online. We hope you enjoy it.

Jade Larkin

About Jade | Meet our SEM Manager

Creative SEM Manager