Most powerful ad of the year? Maybe

Sometimes the link between brilliant ads and their return on investment is a little too vague – but not so for this amazing ad.  

Created by UK agency Adam & Eve for department store John Lewis, the retailer says that the ad – which features a reworking of Billy Joel’s Always A Woman To Me soundtracking a woman’s life story – has resulted in an astonishing 39.7% leap in sales.

It’s certainly capturing the public’s imagination in the UK. Several mainstream British papers have written about it, and I think it’s the first time my parents have ever emailed me about an ad. As The Observer puts it:

“All over Britain, women are kneeling in front of their tellies, heads low, shoulders shaking, tears and mucus dripping from their reddened faces like rain from a suburban gutter.”

I can’t think of another ad, which has such a positive response from the mainstream press so quickly:

Mind you, at a reported $10m, it had better shift some units.

And as the News Of The World has also pointed out today, it does have some similarities to an Italian work from three years ago.

Despite that, I think this one will be very much troubling the international awards juries.

And as John Lewis isn’t in Australia, if I was Myer or David Jones, I’d be looking at the possibilities of licencing it for this market before my rival does.

Tim Burrowes


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