Not long after the internet went crazy about Donald Trump, and once again an animal seems to have topped the charts after John Lewis released their Christmas ad. Starring Buster the Boxer it has sent our office dog Woody crazy and made a couple of us cry (Not. Lame.)
What is it about that GIF of the cat falling off the roof that means we just can’t stop watching?
Or why International Sloth Day ended in me spending a good hour trying to decipher real sloths from Pain au Chocolats?
It would seem we are a nation obsessed with our pets, with more money given to animal charities than for the elderly, social media exploding at any sign of animal cruelty (remember when Mary Bale threw the cat in the bin?) and Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette becoming a fashion icon.
So what does this mean for marketers?
If John Lewis are anything to go by, animals are the way to gain attention. As much as you would hope a lonely man on the moon would bring attention to your brand, a sweet dog bounding around on a trampoline is clearly more effective, and comes with added benefits of merchandise – yes, you can buy Buster toys! Link below for those of you who are really obsessed.
Whilst I don’t think it’s the best Christmas campaign from JL, I’m sure the attention they grab will be enormous, especially from all of us dog lovers out there. And I can’t fault John Lewis for bringing a bit of CSR into their campaign. 10% of profits from any merchandise sold will go to the Wildlife Trust, bringing in more animal lovers and creating a really nice brand image whilst doing some real good.
There are a lot of lessons to learn here in terms of gaining brand loyalty from customers and really playing to consumer’s interests (for most people no.1 is their cat…) no matter what product or service you are offering.
Back to John Lewis…
As well as the Buster merchandise that has come about from John Lewis’ new advert, they are also exploring new technology, and this is where I got REALLY excited.
There is an option to explore Busters garden through VR with Oculus Rift technology, as well as a Snap Chat filter to use in store for a selfie with Buster.
This multi-platform approach is surely the future of advertising, where consumers become immersed and captivated by the story of the ad rather than a specific product. With this tech you can actually climb into the advert and play with the foxes in the snow – this surely means Christmas has started, right?
Well, Michael Bublé is on, I’m off to buy Woody a trampoline.
Written by Emily Hale