All hail one of the most interesting Christmas marketing campaigns to come out of the UK in the past decade... Yes, you've guessed it, the John Lewis advert.
The advert has become a somewhat tradition in the UK and for many kick starts the official countdown to Christmas.
But this year's advert seems to have trumped the lot... Swaying away from the tear-jerking love story that we're all used to being bombarded with, this years ad offers a real sense of humour and light-heartedness with the protagonist being a loveable, ditzy Boxer dog called Buster.
The advert follows the story of a family and young girl getting ready for Christmas...
On Christmas eve evening, once the young girl has gone to bed, the father heads to their garden, outside in the cold to piece together the trampoline he's purchased as a present for his daughter.
Once built, the mother and father sit in the lounge watching TV as Buster stares longingly outside as some foxes, badgers and squirrels explore exactly what fun can be had on a trampoline.
Morning comes and the little girl runs downstairs in excitement to see that she has been gifted with a giant garden trampoline... As the glass doors open, Buster bowls straight outside in front of the little girl and starts bouncing on the trampoline - He's in heaven!
The tagline for this years advert is 'Gifts That Everyone Will Love'
With Monty the penguin stuffed toys selling out across the UK, this years ad has done one better....
Firstly, despite the beautiful animation and the loveable nature of Buster, this is ultimately a shameless plug to sell one of the biggest, most expensive children's products stored in the John Lewis warehouse... After all, trampolines are usually only purchased over a period of about 3 months each year are they not?!
Retailing at £289.99 for the pleasure of bouncing on Busters' trampoline, you can also purchase the cuddly toy and the soundtrack to go along with it. So depending on how demanding your children are, you could be looking at a John Lewis receipt for well over the £300.00 mark.
Secondly, the advert has been released one day after the American Presidential Election - An inevitable time of huge upheaval across the globe regardless of the outcome. Don't be fooled, the timing of this ad release is certainly not a coincidence.
Social Media has gone mad with timelines jam packed full of Trump memes and lip syncing videos of Hilary.... But with people feeling fed up of politics this ad has been released at the perfect time for a pick me up - An escapism as such. I mean, who could resist Busters glistening eyes and droopy tongue?
But if you scratch away all that surface fluff, you will witness one of the most successful marketing campaigns in British history.
...I mean really, who buys a trampoline in December?!
As the world changes around us, so does the Events industry. And perhaps at a faster pace than we feel we can keep up with? This week i've put together a few observations as to how I believe the Events Industry has evolved throughout the year and how it continues to do so... But don't let that scare you, this is an extremely exciting and creative time to be working in the industry. There are now endless opportunities for creative output and the ability to turn brilliant ideas and concepts into a reality. We truly are limitless.
Here are my top three pieces of advice for being successful in 2017...
1. Event or Experience?
What are you trying to achieve from your next project? Are you looking to just create an event? Or are you trying to create something a little bit more? A unforgettable experience so to speak? Of course you are! And for us, it is certainly the latter. In my opinion, events are often associated with a hefty price tag, whereas experiences are something more. Experiences can't bought, as they are a journey. They are something that is remembered and admired for years to come. The term 'experience' in 2016 seems be exactly what people are searching for. From an Event Marketing perspective, projects are now generally being looked at and referred to as an experience - which is right, you are working with a client on a project from the start until the bitter end. The ups the downs... And so on and so on. Because after all, that is all part of the EXPERIENCE.
2. The Personable Approach.
Gone are the days in which there lies a barrier or a tv screen between consumer and brand. Brands in 2016 are your new best friend. With the rise of experiential marketing, consumers couldn't be closer to brands and know more about them. With the opportunity to now feel, touch and test out a product before you buy, brands are now creating individual experiences (there's that word again!)
For consumers or would-be consumers this reach goes far beyond the impact of print, broadcast and online copy. A recent study showed that consumers were 96% more likely to purchase a product after participating in an experiential activation and 74% will have a more positive outlook of your brand. Now that's some pretty high stats!
3. Getting Inside Your Brain... The Psychology Behind Event Marketing.
...Firstly, people love free stuff. It's a fact. Anything of value, that would usually cost money can be used to promote your brand or event with real ease. Not got stuff to give away? Then why not team up with a relevant brand for your event? Not only does it work brilliantly when it comes to getting consumers to brag about their freebies on social media (whilst tagging you in it), it also teams you up with potential sponsors for your next event, alongside some cracking cross promotion. Everyone's a winner! This also links back to the successful nature of Experiential Events and Marketing - bring yourself closer to your consumer by plying them with free gifts and presents, how could they possible resist you?
Secondly, people love cool stuff and by 'cool stuff' I mean cutting edge technology, things they couldn't usually experience at home. This brings me to the development of augmented and virtual reality...
So, you've all heard of Pokémon Go right? Right. Well this technology is called Augmented Reality: Augmented Reality combines both computer generated elements and the reality to create an augmented world. With augmented reality, viewers interact with computer generated overlays as they move within the real world.
Now for Virtual Reality: A little more well known, virtual reality is a three dimensional completely computer generated environment. Users usually need to wear a Virtual Reality headset and may also need compatible gloves or handsets to be able to effectively interact with this world.
Both AR and VR are taking the world by storm and you may be wondering what it's got to do with events? Well let me tell you, with so much potential, VR and AR have the ability to change the way we discuss, attend, and interact at events...
Event organisers are quickly clocking on to what can actually be done and created through these technologies - For example, you can create virtual venues and fully immersive event spaces and on the flip side, people can also attend these virtual events. It really is amazing!
So there you have it, my top three tips to think about when planning your next event or *ahem* 'experience' in 2017.
And lastly, I shall leave you with this... Tom experiencing virtual reality for the first time. Enjoy!
Author: Thea Wise