Its a Penguin!

The weekend saw the first airing of the latest instalment of John Lewis’s Christmas campaigns, widely considered one of the biggest advertising events of the year and what usually kick-starts the retail industry’s assault on our pockets between now and the big day! This years ad created by Adam&Eve/DDB, features a Penguin called Monty and his best mate Sam.  For what has become somewhat of a Christmas tradition over the last few years,  this big budget instalment of ATL marketing spend somewhat contradicts the overall trend in marketing budgets, and ultimately is a shot in the arm for the marketing industry as a whole, especially as John Lewis didn’t advertise on TV until 2007.


So how does this compare to some of the trends seen within the marketing and recruitment industry in 2014?  2014 in a lot of ways will be remembered for the year of Big Data, content marketing, social’s increased diversity, as well as advancements in cloud based technologies.  From a recruiters perspective however there has been a marked uplift in roles and opportunities for “traditional” channels such as advertising, PR, DM and brand.  Although research shows marketing budgets continue to fall across traditional channels in favour of social advertising, online video, SEM etc, the search for talent across core traditional channels is more competitive than ever.


2015 is set to be another year of growth within the digital marketing sector, but there is some irony in the fact that the cherry on the cake of 2014 marketing spend will no doubt go to John Lewis and Monty on TV.  Appreciating  that the weekend will just be the start, and what will follow is Monty getting pushed through all the usual digital channels, the ad was watched 2.5 million times in the first 12 hours.  Last years figures show the John Lewis “woodland” ad was watched 13 million times on YouTube… but the results can’t be argued with, with an increase year-on-year for John Lewis sales of 44.3% in the five weeks up to Christmas 2013.


So as sure as night follows day there will be debate; is the £7m investment the John Lewis ad is reputed to have cost value for money, and will the ROI be that what digital strategies argue should or could have been?  What is key is that the fall out for the marketing industry as a whole, retail on the high-street and for marketing recruiters, is that this can only go to promote high profile marketing spend, confidence in traditional channels and an increase in activity across the board.  Well done John Lewis and an early Happy Christmas from Better Placed!