David Ogilvy, a man who knew a thing or two about advertising, used to say that the purpose of advertising is to sell. Here are some of his words on the subject:
‘A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.’
‘If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.’
‘I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information’
I wonder what David Ogilvy would have made of the latest Christmas TV advert from John Lewis? If you haven’t seen it here it is:
Now I’m a big fan of John Lewis and I often think their advertising is spot on but whilst this one is charming I wonder if it meets any of David Ogilvy’s criteria? The advertisement is all about the creative, about the story of the bear and the hare, we have to wait right to the end to see a product. I wonder if an alarm clock is top of anybody’s Christmas wish list! We don’t even see the John Lewis name until the end of the two minute film so is this advertising that’s going to work?
Do the old rules apply?
David Ogilvy lived before the Internet became commonplace, before we had Facebook and Twitter, before ‘customer engagement’ became buzz words. Has the purpose of advertising changed in the 14 years since his death?
The John Lewis TV advertisement is part of an integrated campaign. Here’s the first email to announce the forthcoming ad. It introduces us to products, interactive books, the in store bear’s cave and more. I’m sure the theme will be developed on Twitter and Facebook as well as further emails and offline advertising in the coming weeks. So the campaign is built around ‘customer engagement’ but will this be as effective as one built around selling product?
Will this advertisement change your behaviour?
I don’t know about you but John Lewis would be one of the first shops I would consider going to when shopping, I don’t need a fancy film to make that decision. What I do need at Christmas is inspiration. I need gift ideas for those members of my family who don’t produce a detailed wish list and I really don’t want to fight the crowds to get those ideas. That’s when I respond to TV advertising. I want to see gift ideas, if I see something that looks right for one of my loved ones then I go to that shop or visit that website. What about you?
Will you go to John Lewis to meet the bear and the hare? Has the advertising made any difference to you? Are you more or less likely to visit John Lewis ‘in store, online or mobile’ as a result of this advertising? I’d love to hear your views in the comments here.
Glenda Shawley of The Training Pack helps owners of small businesses to develop and implement marketing campaigns that sell. If you would like to find out how I can help your business book your free, no obligation, 30 minute consultation here.