John Lewis: Christmas in the metaverse
For the 2021, much anticipated John Lewis Christmas campaign, we took a 90” TV asset and stretched it into the physical, digital and virtual worlds of our audiences. Through the use of an entirely new channel for them and with no competitor brands to battle the key retail period out with, we were able to land our most successful Christmas ever, by placing John Lewis’ #unexpectedguest in the place you’d least expect to see it show up – the metaverse.
Christmas is made unforgettable by shared family experiences, therefore, we planned to create magical media moments that families could enjoy together. ITV’s I’m a Celebrity is one of the biggest shared viewing moments in Q4, but with a competitive marketplace at Christmas and low budgets, we couldn’t just advertise around it. We had to find a way to leverage this audience in a more impactful, immersive way that would drive disproportionate cut through and critically land that John Lewis is the home of Christmas.
Working with ITV, we teased our campaign by flying the #UnexpectedGuest spaceship through our audiences’ most loved show sets to drive intrigue. On December 6th the spaceship flew over the IAC castle, signalling a product integration with I’m a Celeb. On Dec 7th we placed a Castle Coin Challenge in the editorial of the show, which used recognisable iconography of the John Lewis Christmas story to drive brand recognition. The reward for the challenge – for the first time ever in I’m A Celeb, was more than just food, it was also John Lewis Christmas product, which the campmates could take back to the camp – driving product awareness and cementing John Lewis as the brand that delivers festive cheer. A further Easter egg was placed in the experience, as Kiosk Cledwyn sported the Christmas jumper from the TVC, which played out straight after the campmates returned to camp.
It was a true team effort. Eight teams from MG OMD, seven from ITV, three from adam&eveDDB, four from The Outernet, four from EPIC games and six from John Lewis all came together to deliver a world media first across multiple continents. We even had to pull in one of the Matrix Awakens developers to support on our 4D build, working overnight from LA.
In November 2022, Waitrose launched their Christmas campaign, highlighting the care their partners put in all year round, to make Christmas as special as possible for their customers. The campaign launched in the Bake Off Final, followed by another cracking spot in I’m A Celeb. However, this year we have made sure we have gone beyond TV & BVOD to get our hero asset out there, with the inclusion of Amazon, Samsung, YouTube, Spotify & Teads all on the plan too. Alongside our hero ad, we are also showcasing Waitrose’s most unique and irresistible products, which have been placed within AV and on the biggest, most impactful formats across OOH, Print & Display. Excitingly within our Product layer, we have also been able to dial up our innovation, with the activation of Waitrose’s first-ever game. Also look out for our spots on ITV in December, where you will see the continuity announcer rewind the ad break – because Waitrose products are far too good to be ignored!