• Miss Milllie

John Lewis & #ExcitableEdgar

Updated: Feb 24

For me, the day John Lewis release their Christmas campaign, is the day that the festive season begins. At 7am this morning, John Lewis introduced us to their lovable friend Edgar, an excitable dragon causing mayhem around a small village. This infamous campaign which reportedly costs the organisation £7 million a year has become one of the largest media events every Christmas season.

This year marks the first partnership with its sister Waitrose which could be perceived as a cost-cutting strategy after the department store suffered its first loss this year. But is Edgar the troublesome dragon going to bring John Lewis the sales they desperately need this Christmas?

You could say that this year’s campaign marks the return of John Lewis’ familiar, reliable formula which focuses on a loveable character, after last year’s campaign which featured Elton John. Now… I’m not saying Elton John isn’t lovable but the adverts featuring cuddly creatures like 2014’s Monty the Penguin or 2017’s Moz the Monster seem to spark success across many more media channels.

Sticking to their formula and using a similar strategy to Argos’ recent Christmas advert, John Lewis has used Bastille’s lead singer Dan to cover an 80’s pop classic by REO Speedwagon. This is a clever strategy, appealing to an older audience through song choice and a younger audience by artist choice.

Whilst there are certain aspects of the campaign that remain the same, John Lewis has introduced some new traits to their character this Christmas. Edgar the dragon might appear to be comical and loveable, but others may say he’s the first villain John Lewis has ever had. Edgar goes around burning snowmen, Christmas trees and disturbing all village proceedings. However, I think Edgar’s clear dismay in upsetting his village suggests he’s just a young dragon learning how to control his excitement. The real theme of forgiveness is shown at the end of the advert when the village comes together and accepts him despite the pain he’s inflicted.

Again, following their campaign norms, John Lewis has created lots of Edgar the dragon merchandise including toys, books, and clothing. A move that pulls you into their department stores. An #ExcitableEdgar Snapchat filter and emoji has been released for people to spread across social media. Interestingly, the company has released its full advert solely on social media, two days before they premiere the advert on live TV Saturday evening. Is this showing that they value social media reception more? Or perhaps using the release on social media to create a share of voice before the big release on Saturday night?

Either way… please share with me your favourite John Lewis advert? Mine has to be 2013’s The Bear and the Hare.

Love, Miss Millie x

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