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John Lewis wins IPA Grand Prix

News, 03 November 2016

LONDON: UK retailer John Lewis has won the IPA Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix for its Christmas advertising campaigns that were praised for creating emotional rather than overt selling messages.

Created by agencies adam&eveDDB and Manning Gottlieb OMD, the four heart-warming campaigns ran from 2012 to 2015 and strongly connected with consumers while also lifting sales revenue by an average of 16%.

John Lewis and its agencies received the accolade at an awards ceremony last night, where the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising also handed out a total of 11 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze awards.

Other gold winners included The Economist (Proximity BBDO London), Snickers (AMV BBDO), Direct Line and Guinness (AMV BBDO).

Warc subscribers can read all the winning case studies here.

Dove, the Unilever soap brand, was one of the silver winners but it also won the inaugural President's Prize (Best Commerical Effectiveness for Good) for a campaign created by Ogilvy & Mather that delivered on its purpose of making women feel more beautiful while increasing profit to the brand.

Owner Unilever scooped the overall Best Dedication to Effectiveness award, buoyed by its Wall's ice cream brand also picking up silver award.

John Lewis's Grand Prix-winning Christmas campaigns featured stories that centred on thoughtful gift-giving and proved so successful that they ended up resonating with the entire nation.

"Each new John Lewis Christmas campaign is anticipated and talked about by pretty much everyone," said Dame Dianne Thompson, Chairman of Judges and former CEO of Camelot.

"But it isn't just 'nice to watch', it isn't just hot air; it halts the nation, it has become part of our culture, and most importantly, it drives business success," she added.

As a measure of this success, the John Lewis festive campaigns have been calculated to have delivered over £8 of profit for every £1 spent and, as a result, the company's market share has increased to 29.6%, its highest ever level.

Commenting on the award, Convenor of Judges Bridget Angear, said: "The John Lewis advertising has a commercial, social and cultural impact not just on the business itself, but on the nation as a whole.

"adam&eveDDB and Manning Gottlieb OMD are thoroughly deserving of the Grand Prix, and for anyone wanting to know how to make effective advertising that will transform their business I urge them to watch and learn."

So to help other advertisers, the IPA highlighted 10 key takeaways from its decision to award its top award to John Lewis and its agencies.

These include the importance of telling a great story, creating characters that "have a life of their own", understanding that creativity is crucial for efficiency, and also recognising that TV is still indispensable because TV continues to deliver outstanding ROI.

Data sourced from IPA; additional content by Warc staff