John Lewis: Making the nation cry...and buy

Principal authors: David Golding, Adam & Eve; Helen Weavers, Real World Planning; Paul Knight, MG OMD
Contributing authors: Sam Veitch and Lesley Turnbull, BrandScience


Few people would dispute that in 2012 John Lewis is one of the most talked-about and admired advertisers in the UK. But it's easy to forget how recently that wasn't the case and how rapid the turnaround in the brand's communications effectiveness has been. This paper tells the story of how a bold decision to use highly emotional advertising, in a very challenging economic climate, has delivered a highly impressive £1074m of incremental sales and £261m of incremental profit since Christmas 2009.

Not only has the John Lewis business benefited greatly but so have all the Partners, who share an annual bonus based on profits. This paper proves how emotional advertising has directly enriched the lives of thousands of people, and brought a tear to the eye of millions.

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