19 November 2015 | Team Tamar

Does John Lewis make their £7m back each year?

November means one thing; it is officially acceptable to talk about Christmas and the exciting run up to the holiday, and everything festive that comes along with it. November also brings the much anticipated launch of the John Lewis Christmas advert to our TV screens.

John Lewis are no strangers to amazing adverts, since 2007 the department store has graced our screens with their Christmas adverts. Each advert sends a meaningful Christmas message to viewers, this year being “Show someone they’re loved this Christmas.”

The brand have spent millions on their Christmas advertising campaigns since 2011, with each one of their Christmas campaigns costing £6 million, with the cost of the campaigns rising to a massive £7 million from 2013.

Although the adverts are huge talking points each year, this does not cover the cost of a £7 million campaign. John Lewis need to ensure that they are getting a return on their investment, so how do they measure the success of an advertising campaign each year?

How is the success of an advertising campaign measured?

Each year the John Lewis advert itself gains a lot of attention and brand awareness. However, the campaign has many different components that all work in partnership to build success – not just the TV commercial. So what does the campaign include and how is it measured?

The big launch

The initial launch of this year’s advert took place online; the advert went live at 8am on November 5th via YouTube. It was followed by an on-air showing later that evening; the showing took place during the popular TV show Gogglebox – which in 2014 drew in a massive 2.7 million viewers per episode.

The online launch allowed people to discuss the advert through social media prior to the TV launch. The advert hosted on YouTube can be measured by the amount of views it has. As of November 17th 2015 the video currently has 13,737,362 views, highlighting its instant popularity.

In the description box of the YouTube video you are able to follow a trackable link to the John Lewis Man on the Moon home page. This home page then allows you to visit other Man on the Moon pages, which are all part of the campaign.

By using a trackable link this allows John Lewis to view statistics for each part of their campaign. Once the Christmas campaign has finished they will be able to view what part of their campaign was most successful.

The Christmas Advert Landing Page

After following the link from YouTube you land on the John Lewis Christmas Advert page. This landing page allows John Lewis to track how many page views it gets over a period of time.

The landing page also allows potential customers to explore the other parts of the Christmas campaign.

Man on the Moon shop

The Christmas advert landing page allows you to click through to either the Christmas shop, or to the Man on the Moon shop. Every year since 2013 the department store has released a range of branded merchandise for the Christmas advert including cups, bedding, pyjamas and, this year, even a make your own telescope kit.

By having the shop John Lewis can measure the success of the campaign in two ways; firstly the popularity of the page and secondly by the extra revenue the merchandise can bring in.


Man on the Moon app

An app for the Man on the Moon advert can be downloaded from both the App store and through Google Play. The app can be used with the Man on the Moon activity pack to bring the poster to life.

The success of this can easily be easily be measured by how many downloads the application receives.


Age UK donation

The Man on the Moon advertisement is partnered with Age UK this Christmas, in order to support the charity’s Christmas campaign. A percentage of the profits from some of the Man on the Moon merchandise will be donated to the charity.

The Christmas advert landing page also allows viewers to click through to the Age UK donation page and make a donation. This link will be tracked showing that they landed on the Age UK donation page from the John Lewis Christmas campaign landing page. This also shows the percentage of donations that John Lewis have referred to the site.


Apple music and Spotify

The advert has a cover of the famous Oasis song, Half the World Away by Norwegian singer Aurora. You can download the song from Apple music as well as listen to it through Spotify.

This allows the brand to measure yet another stream of interest, the link will allow them to see how many people listened to, or downloaded the song because of the campaign.



The end of the advert allows you to ‘continue the story’ with the use of  #ManOnTheMoon. The hashtag allows viewers to communicate through social media and search for anything related to the advert using the hashtag. This is a great way for the company to measure success through its audience.

Within the first few hours of its release the hashtag had 47,770 tweets, highlighting its instant popularity. This hashtag is shown on the advert that is shown on TV, as well as the advert shown online – allowing every possible viewer to have the chance to use it.

In the past 30 days the hashtag has received 117,221 tweets, 4,521 of those being from the past 7 days. Highlighting that even two weeks after the launch, the advert is still gaining popularity.



The John Lewis Christmas campaign is made up of many components and not just the initial advert. Although the campaign will achieve great brand awareness through its popularity, the most important factor is to drive sales.

There should be an overall increase in sales during and after the Christmas period – last year the department store spent £6.9m on the ad and had a 4.8% rise in like-for-like sales over the 2014 Christmas period.

During the 2014 five week Christmas period John Lewis hit sales of £777m, compared to the 2013 five week Christmas period where sales hit £734m. This shows a staggering £43m difference in sales. So the question is will John Lewis show a rise in Christmas sales this year?

Team Tamar