John Lewis win at Cannes and at building affective brand memories

Congratulations to John Lewis, winners of a Gold Creative Effectiveness Lion for ‘The bear and the hare’ at Cannes this week.  An award indisputably deserved, with impressive success metrics evident across a large number of platforms, including; sales (highest ever level), econometrics (one of the highest levels ever found in the history of the Creative Effectiveness Lions), YouTube views, Google searches, Twitter comments, music sales) and demonstrating the power of what can be achieved against a back-drop of strong UK shopper expectation at Christmas. 

Our Christmas 2013 advertising test strongly predicted John Lewis’ ad would do well not only on short term sales but also building affective brand memories that would drive longer-term success too. 

The Bear and the Hare won on Kantar TNS metrics against stiff competitor Christmas ads.  Findings revealed that the animated tale of friendship between the hare and the bear achieved widespread engagement and high motivation, indicative of strong short-term sales response – above all other main advertisers. 

What made the campaign even more powerful though was the TV ad's emotive connection with viewers driving long term brand equity well into the future.  The emotional takeout was key to this effectiveness.  The campaign was not only highly emotive but emotionally complex, with some viewers taking the storyline simply as a tale of sharing and friendship connecting whilst others connected to the ‘darker’ elements of the storyline (missing out).

Great use of Lily Allen’s version of ‘Somewhere only we know’ soundtrack supported the emotive tone and balanced perfectly with the visual storyline.

Despite high exposure there was little evidence of campaign wearout, with interest and appeal building steadily from repeated exposure and seemingly prompting spoofs and viewer generated content.

This study was carried out using a combination of the Kantar TNS's AdEval approach, a validated approach covering short and long-term campaign effects coupled with facial coding. Find out more here.