John Lewis Has Revealed How Much This Year’s Christmas Ad Cost To Make (Hint: A Lot)

Dogs and trampolines don't come cheap.

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The John Lewis 2016 Christmas ad debuted online this morning, and if you haven’t watched it yet, we suggest pausing from whatever you’re doing and clicking below, because it’s a clinker.

This year’s ad tells the story of Buster the boxer dog, who wants nothing more than to have a go on the trampoline his young owner Summer is getting for Christmas. Too cute.

You won’t be crying at your desk either, as the ad’s a much more cheerful effort than last year’s Man On The Moon story. Speaking to The Telegraph, a spokesperson for John Lewis said the retailer accepted that 2015’s ad may have been too bleak, and so made an effort this year to move away from anything resembling “sadvertising.”

While most of the bouncing animal footage – the foxes, the badger and some shots of Buster the dog – were made using CGI, much of Buster’s footage was real, thanks to the hard work of five-year-old Biff the boxer from Bedfordshire. Biff’s family is no stranger to the limelight either, as his sister Pamela is currently starring in an ad campaign for Radley handbags.

So how much does an ad featuring CGI, trained animals and heaps of fake snow cost to make? A lot, it turns out.

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The ad cost a cool £1million (€1.13m) to put together, plus another £6million (€6.82m) on advertising and distribution. John Lewis’ campaign plan for the ad includes the purchase of a primetime 9.15pm TV slot tonight, November 10th, for the ad’s televised debut, plus Snapchat filters, behind-the-scenes videos and Buster merchandise in-store.

Of course, the ad does its fair share of hard work in boosting sales and building brand awareness, so it’s all worth it for John Lewis. “The success of a Christmas ad goes far beyond the six to seven-week run-up to Christmas. Return on investment on ads is not necessarily measured only in terms of short-term sales and profits, but also in terms of how much buzz and fame the advertising can generate and the longer term impact that has on the brand,” Jane Bloomfield, Kantar Millward Brown’s head of UK marketing, told The Independent.

“The more famous the ad becomes, the harder it works for the brand, and the more opportunity for that brand to convert it into increased sales.”


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