Like most people, some of my fondest childhood memories stretch back from Christmas. But for me, it wasn't just the opening of the presents and trying hopelessly to get to sleep on Christmas eve. For me, it was Fenwick's.
That's right, I just said Fenwick's, the retail store. Some people may remember the glorious Fenwick's window displays of the 90's (which are still popular today), where the store would set up a wonderful display of puppets and animatronics depicting Santa's workshop with all his elves working hard to make all the presents. My Grandma and Grandad would take me and my sister Christmas shopping in town each year and we would literally be ecstatic and run over in excitement to join the crowd of other children. Just thinking about it now makes me smile. How strange for a retail store to have this effect.
Fast forward 20 years and I now have my old excited little girl and she surprised me one night recently when I got home from the studio. "Finally!” She groaned as I walked in through the front door “We've been waiting for ages! We're going to watch the John Lewis advert!" And she demanded I sit down with her and her mum around the iPad to watch this year's Buster the Boxer advert.
As it played through, we laughed and giggled at the animals and enjoyed the video together as a family and of course it was played through more than once. How strange for a retail advert to have this effect. Of course, I see the parallels between the Fenwick's Windows back when I little and the John Lewis advert now.
It's new age marketing. An approach that aims to entertain customers, educate and provide value for them. Where customers come to you via social media, search engines and referral. Most importantly, it's an approach that strikes a cord, leaves a lasting memory and creates a warm association between customer and business.
I think my daughter will probably have warm memories of the John Lewis adverts when she is older and sitting with a VR headset on, enjoying the latest fad with her children. It amazing how much fun and good spirit can be spread from what is essential and advert!