piątek, 7 listopada 2014

Christmas 2014 adverts: Debenhams, Burberry and John Lewis

Christmas is here! At least here in London, where retailers have already started launching their festive campaigns. I know that for some of you it might be too early to talk about Christmas, but I couldn't help but share my thoughts about their ads. So, let’s take a look!

1.    Debenhams – “Found It”

Debenhams was the first UK retailer that has launched its Christmas campaign “Found It” for 2014. The TV ad features a group of children staying overnight in a deserted Debenhams store searching each department for the perfect gifts. I don’t want to spoil it, so first check it out, if you haven’t seen it yet.

Oh, did you feel like a child for a moment, just like I did? If yes, please raise your hand. Christmas is that special time of year when we want to feel carefree once again and Debenhams cleverly used this fact to create their festive commercial. The ad is filmed from a child’s perspective, showing the kids’ world. The atmosphere is built through music (“We All Stand Together” by Paul McCartney), which takes us to the world of magic, miracles and gifts. The view of all those kids evokes our memories of childhood when we wanted particular gift so badly, that no other thing could replace it and satisfy us in the same way.

Yes, it’s not so easy to satisfy children’s expectations, so I’m really impressed that Debenhams wants to meet these requirements (at least that is what they present in the ad). But I have mixed feelings about this – it seems to me that the children have been shown in a slightly negative way. Those who don’t like kids will rather not like this ad because in my opinion it highlights their exuberance and their desire of receiving gifts („Give me my gift right now!”). But maybe I’m exaggerating? Let me know what do you think about that.

Overall I like this ad, I really do. This year Debenhams positions gifts over fashion and I think they deserve a big plus for that!

The 60-second ad was created by JWTLondon and shot in the Clapham Junction & Sutton stores. 

PS. Who would not want to spend the night rummaging through departments in Debenhams? ;)

2.    Burberry – “From London with Love”

Do you know who has been chosen for the face of Burberry’s first Christmas TV ad? Beckham! But no, not David Beckham… his and Victoria’s son, Romeo. In Burberry’s festive story ‘From London With Love’ 12-year-old Romeo plays a Cupid who delivers a special gift of love to a young couple. Check it out:

Let’s come back from that fairy tale. The commercial has its own charm and it’s a real pleasure to watch it – just like a very good music video, which lasts 4 minutes. Romantic atmosphere, the song*, dancers… all these things make the commercial beautiful and you simply don’t want to take your eyes off it. Without a doubt the ad tells a story, but it seems to me that it recedes into the background. Why? The story has been presented in a more artistic way, where it’s easy to overlook the important elements. There are lots of Burberry’s trench coats, cashmere scarfs, dances… and of course Romeo Beckham. And because all of these things come to the fore, you have to see it twice, if you want to trace the whole story.

It is known that the thing that attracts people to watch advertisements is celebrity name or face... and because of that journalists admire young Beckham’s acting style and his dance moves. For those who didn’t know, this is Romeo’s second appearance for the Burberry – he made his debut in their campaign for S/S 2013 collection. So, Romeo is supposed to promote the Burberry, but it seems to me that it is Burberry that promotes Romeo? Or am I wrong?

“From London with Love”  was directed by Burberry’s Chief Creative and CEO Christopher Bailey and filmed on a custom-designed set at Elstree Studios.

*The track “The Way That I Live” used in the ad has been especially written and recorded by British musician Ed Harcourt. 

3.    John Lewis – “Monty The Penguin”

Every year I look forward to new John Lewis’ Christmas commercial, because I know it will be something wonderful. They always grab the heart and shrug – they’re a real tearjerker. And also this time I was not disappointed . The campaign called “Monty The Penguin” tells the story of a boy who spends his time with his friend… a penguin, that appears to be real. Oh, I won’t tell any word more about this ad, until you see it. But first make sure you have tissues near you, because you might want to use them after all.

Oh, this ad simply melted my heart! Within the first few seconds I had a short moment of uncertainty and doubt, that I would not be as delighted and impressed with this new ad as I used to be in previous years. But nothing could be more wrong (shame on you, Gosia!). John Lewis and their team* exactly know how to tell a story… and they do it every time in the same, masterly way with tried-and-tested (and seductive) formula:
  • Storytelling with an emotional narrative – the sentimental and powerful story not only shows emotions, but evokes emotion in us as well.
  • The main characters of the story are kids or animals, so the presence of the boy and the penguin, as well as the interaction between them provides a double dose of tenderness.
  • The atmosphere is built by the romantic music (Lennon’s „Real Love”, sung by Tom Odell), which was chosen to pluck at the heart strings.
  • What I like the most about it, there’s no explicit mention of John Lewis or their products in this commercial (in contrary to Debenhams’ and Burberry’s ads). And that’s why this is a masterpiece!
  • And last, but not least, the most important thing: it’s crucial for me that the commercial (specifically: the story presented in it) has its own message for us. And John Lewis took care of it and gives us that message, ending the ad with the line: "Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of". So what’s the real moral of this ad? It seems that John Lewis is not an ordinary high street store, but rather the place where you can find love and share it with others.

John Lewis’ commercial evokes emotions and tears, so if it doesn’t touch you, it means that there’s something wrong with you… or you should watch it one more time.

*The 60-second ad has been made by Adam&EveDDB - they have made most of the John Lewis’ commercials (you can see all of them here). I really hope I’ll have a chance to meet all those people, that stand behind those great campaigns! :)

What more can I say? Great job guys!

Well, so who wins the battle for the best festive campaign this year? Definitely John Lewis! They really earned to be the number one and I doubt that other retailers will ever take away this title from them.

And which of those commercials is your favourite one? :)

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