On line one we have Monty the Penguin

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November 6, 2014 by johnnyseifertradio

Forget Lilly Allen and Ellie Goulding, it is time for Tom ODell to shine. Tom, a favourite of BBC Radio1 presenter Fearne Cotton was the Brit’s Critic Choice 2013 and has since won an Ivor Novello award. This year Tom took to the microphone to cover The Beatles ‘Real Love’ for the new John Lewis 2014 Christmas campaign. In the past classic well known songs have been covered yet how many people have heard of Real Love? I certainly haven’t. However, the excitement of hearing a song reworked in true X Factor style as Lilly and Ellie did is far greater then hearing a new song. Furthermore, I would argue that Sam Smith should have been chosen as I do not think this is going to follow in Lilly’s footsteps to be a number 1 single.

This years John Lewis campaign tells the story of a young boy named Sam who becomes friends with Monty The Penguin and going on adventures with this toy penguin that comes alive. The message that the retailer has given is that their mission is to showcase that they wanted to show “the magic of make-believe at Christmas through a child’s eyes.” Now, whilst it is no Bear and the Hare (2013) here is the advert below which is being discussed in today’s blog.

The interesting topic surrounding the advert is that it is great viral marketing tool but to what extent can it be spoken about? Who remembers that brilliant advert by Skoda where they created a cake modeled as a car with the sounds of A Sound Of Music “Favourite Things” back in 2007?

Both these adverts got everyone talking by word of mouth (Twitter was not used in Skoda’s campaign era) and with John Lewis, with only being released a couple of hours ago it has been trending worldwide in first place all day. With Bear and the Hare, John Lewis as a department store selling Christmas goods achieved its mission with last years sales increasing by 6%. With John Lewis investing over £1Million into their campaigns it is important it works and it is important that it gets people talking. However, what does this mean for radio?

Radio is a friend to the listener and therefore the listener expects the radio presenter to speak about the topical issues of the day of which this is today’s big story. However, how does the radio presenter treat it? Whilst, they can speak about it at the same time they are giving free promotion to John Lewis who have not sponsored the feature or any part of the radio station that is promoting them. I would argue that today is an exception to the rule and it should be spoken about. As my friend Richard Horsman points out ” Mentioning it fine as a talking point, just don’t fetishise it. Broaden it. What other ads have made you cry?” This is quite important as it then makes it a fair playing field for all companies to showcase their successful campaigns of which I have outlined some of the Christmas ones heading our way for 2014.

  • Burberry is using Romeo Beckham wearing their clothes which has been viewed 2.3 Million times
  • Sainsburys’ are focusing on marking 70 years since WW2
  • Waitrose have hired choirs to sing Dolly Parton’s ‘Try’
  • Lidl are focusing on the fact that they can not believe they are still in business…seriously

Last month sadly we lost Loose Women, brilliant actress and Oxo mum Lynda Bellingham to cancer.

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Lynda had one last wish when she stopped her chemo treatments and that was to have one last Christmas. However, that never happened and since Bellingham passed away a campaign has been created on Facebook with 156,000 people campaigning to have the Oxo adverts brought back for one last Christmas in memory of Lynda. The news, rightly so have covered Lynda’s passing so what happens if the Oxo adverts are brought back and Oxo sells more gravy then they have ever done before in memory of Lynda? Will journalists cover the story?

In true Christmas spirit, news stories on retailers campaigns are skating on thin ice as they try and not promote the brands too much yet discuss the topics that we are all discussing. Is there a right or wrong way to publicise the brands safely, I am not sure, but I would love to know what you think!

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