Hopefully by now you will have all seen, or at least heard about, John Lewis’ epic £7 million Christmas ad: The Bear and The Hare, created by adam&eve DDB.
The hand-animated tale has received an enormous 8.7 million views on YouTube since launch on November 8, and according to reports, helped drive sales of £101.45 million in the British department store in the week that followed, up 10.7% on 2012.
Despite the fact the spot premiered on TV in the UK during The X-Factor (played as an entire two-minute ad break), this campaign lives well beyond its traditional format. Here’s a breakdown of some of the more interactive ways how:
- An accompanying e-book called ‘The Bear who had never seen Christmas’ has been introduced for iPad, iPhone and Android. It features a series of touch-to-activate features, including a treasure hunt throughout the pages of the story in order to decorate a Christmas tree at the end, and a musical component for kids to tap their screens along to
- As with last year’s snowmen, the two main characters, Bear and Hare, each have their own Twitter profiles. Following them reveals all sorts of insights into their friendship: Hare planning to tickle Bear in his sleep, and Bear snoozing through the majority of it only waking briefly now and again to tweet out a line of Zzzzzzzzz’s
- John Lewis has also just announced its “ReWorked” initiative for the ad – calling all unsigned singers or bands in the UK to re-record Lily Allen’s cover of Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know. Keane is helping to judge the winner, who will then be featured on the soundtrack for the ad on TV on Christmas Day. A page on the brand’s YouTube channel plays hosts to a note of good luck from Lily Allen as well as all the entries so far
- A Christmas card maker allows consumers to create their own personalised e-cards too. A selection of templates featuring the different woodland animals can be selected from first, then a personal picture uploaded or chosen by connecting with Facebook. Lastly, a message can be added before sharing it over social, downloading it to send via email or print out, and/or adding it to the online gallery
- In the physical space meanwhile, 11 John Lewis stores around the UK have special ‘caves’ for children to visit and have their photo taken with the Bear and the Hare. The Oxford Street and Peter Jones London stores are particularly worth visiting for the windows too, where a total of 188 animal sculptures have been made from over 7,000 everyday products, like a reindeer from Dyson vacuums, a polar bear from Nintendo Wiis and a turkey from a series of rolled up towels. Creative consultancy Chameleon Visual and production company Setsquare Staging spent a year developing them, as the below making-of video demonstrates.