#Manonthemoon. This Year’s John Lewis Christmas Advert Has Social Media Lit up Like a Christmas Tree

John Lewis Christmas adverts are as much a part of the fabric of yuletide as Brussels sprouts and tinsel. So much so that when you type the word “Christmas” into Google the company appears 2nd in the list of hits. It is one of the most hotly anticipated adverts of the year and sets the benchmark for all others during the Christmas season. We’ve teamed up with Brandwatch to have a look at some of the chat on the advert given that there have been huge amounts generated over the last few hours to gauge what everyone’s reactions have been and as expected its been an emotional one.

The John Lewis Christmas advert always portrays exceptionally emotional stories, accompanied with strategically selected music that results in our heartstrings being literally yanked to breaking point, tears streaming down our faces yet somehow always walking away with that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

For those who haven’t seen it (and judging by the volume of social conversations, this is probably about 3 people) let me set the scene: the opening sequence is a little girl gazing up to the stars through her telescope and to her surprise finds an old man on the moon. The old man appears lonely and sad so the little girl tries tirelessly to contact him and on Christmas day her attempts finally succeed and with the help of some magical balloons, she sends him the gift of a telescope. The old man is overjoyed with his gift and uses it to spot the girl that sent it, moving him to tears when he finally sees her. At this point the viewer is weeping and snorting onto their sleeve unable to control the raft of emotion that has just ensued. The final scene reads: “Show someone they are loved this Christmas” with the old man waving happily in the direction of Earth and his new friend. Cue second round of absolute emotional turmoil. *Sniffs*.

As previously mentioned, the volume of mentions of “John Lewis” since the advert broke this morning has been huge with mentions, so far, peaking at around 8:45am as can be seen from the graph below taken from Brandwatch giving a minute by minute update of the mentions. This can probably be explained by people showing their colleagues the advert before starting work so they can hop aboard the feels train too and taking to social media to share their views.

Mentions of John Lewis ad minute by minute today[1]

Continuing on the subject of emotions, the response from social has been exactly as we would have anticipated with 3674 mentions of people reporting that they have been crying over the advert so far. When looking at the gender breakdown in this reporting, fear the John Lewis ad for even the biggest of men will shed at least a small tear and tell their friends on social media with 23% of males using the term when discussing the ad compared to 77% of females. Whether or not we tell our friends on social media, we’re all crying let’s be honest.

Gender breakdown who cried at the JL ad most

Moreover, there is a very similar gender split when expressing love for the advert with 25% of male tweeters sharing the love for it compared to 75% of females.

Gender breakdown who loves the ad more men or women[1]

#Manonthemoon will probably not just be the top hashtag of the day but will no doubt continue to thrive in the digital space from now until January for John Lewis have done it again and knocked it clean out of the park with this years Christmas advert especially given the positive outpouring of support for it. Moreover, its good to see the brand partnership between Age UK and John Lewis is proving to be such a success and hasn’t been lost in the digital noise with a tweet from Age UK themselves still showing as one of the top tweets about the advert. Since this tweet has such a massive reach this should ensure that the warm fuzzy feeling you take away from this year’s JL advert isn’t without good cause, reinforcing the success of social media as a tool for charitable advocacy; fuelling donations and driving awareness of lonely older people in the UK this festive season.

Since this advert has got us all feeling a bit mushy and reflective, as a final point, lets all spare a thought for Monty the penguin, star of last years advert (cue third round of emotional turmoil. Just as you thought you’d got over him, I go and bring him up. Sorry). Don’t worry Monty, I haven’t forgot about you. Nor have I forgotten about John Lewis, a native of Blacksburg, Virginia (@JohnLewis) who is no doubt seeing his inbox flood with mentions from emotional Brits, driving him insane for yet another year. Sorry John.

Created by Gordon Manson, Research Executive at Disruptive Insight, a Digital Behavioural Intelligence consultancy in partnership with Brandwatch Analytics, a social intelligence platform that helps brands extract business-changing insights from social conversations.

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