The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Every Little, Teensy-Weensy, Bit Helps …
November 28, 2012, 6:04 am
Filed under: Comment

Are you over the shock that I was utterly fawning over the John Lewis Christmas spot yesterday?

Well maybe I’m getting into the festive spirit – or maybe I’m ill – but I’m going to give it another dollop of praise.

OK, so this has nothing to do with the ad, but when I checked out the spot on Youtube, I saw a bunch of links to other John Lewis ‘films’ … except instead of more emotion inducing ads, they were little clips giving useful tips to many of the issues people face at Christmas.

Whether it’s how to wrap presents to errrrm, how to groom a beard, John Lewis want to be there to help you make everything ‘perfect’.

That said, I couldn’t find any tips on how to get over a hangover, stop granny from making racist comments or apologise for telling your boss they were an unmitigated prick at the office Christmas party … but maybe they’re still filming those.

In an industry that likes to celebrate the brands that do the big, statement-making spots … these little films remind us that it’s often the little things that make the biggest difference.

It would have been oh-so-easy for John Lewis to say, “but you can find those tips on line without us having to do it” … but they didn’t, probably because they know that to truly connect to people, it’s about demonstrating you care, rather than just saying it.


66 Comments so far
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You make an important point here Rob. Considerate actions, however small, are more powerful than words. I think brands and agencies get so focused on the big ego statement that they forget the power and meaning behind actually doing something people relate to and value.

That doesn’t mean a big vision isn’t important, it’s just the it’s meaningless if you don’t take people along the way.

Comment by Pete

back to sickeningly fucking nice pete then.

fucking depressing.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have always believed that the ‘Emperors new clothes’ was less a children’s story and more a business mindset that is sadly, alive and well. Especially in marketing.

Comment by Rob

And your last paragraph of this post should be printed out and placed on every marketing directors desk.

Comment by Pete

Totally agree. Sums up the approach to meaningful relationship marketing far better than any CRM expert I’ve seen.

Comment by George

Funny you should say that …

Sorry, private joke. But your comment is unbelievably apt. And I’ll be able to tell you soon whether you’re also correct in your claim.

Comment by Rob

No matter how many nice words you write about them, John Lewis aren’t going to sponsor your christmas gift giving Rob. You’ve forgotten that everyone isn’t as gullible as Lee and Baz.

Comment by DH

he wears every fucker down eventually. or annoys them so fucking much they give him shit as long as he leaves them alone. why the fuck do you think i let him have the majority of cynic?

Comment by andy@cynic

Where’s the video telling you how to make a believable excuse why you’ve bought your christmas hosts absolutely fuck all?

Comment by Billy Whizz

Has someone invited you to their christmas day? Impressive Billy.

Comment by DH

the chicks at the old peoples prison?

Comment by andy@cynic

No. Just wondering.

Comment by Billy Whizz

wheres the video teaching you how to fake smile at another present that was purchased by a tight bastard. mentioning no names auntie george.

Comment by andy@cynic

The christmas jumpers from Rob’s post weren’t cheap Andrew.

Comment by George

Gold.

Comment by DH

Oh dear.

Comment by Rob

all i want for christmas is for ex #1 and #2 to stop being leeches on my fucking soul and wallet. hows that for not asking for much? im practically the patron saint of the true meaning of christmas.

talking of the true meaning of jesus day, my wife is completely ignoring it so out daughters first christmas will be totally fucking memorable. not by bonnie, but by every fucking cuddly toy manufacturer in the developed fucking world.

if all she gets me are a pair of gloves, she might get a christmas divorce card.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re basically santa. You keep lots of people happy and warm. Does that make you feel better?

Comment by Billy Whizz

actually it fucking doesnt billy.

Comment by andy@cynic

Impressive vitriol Andrew. I won’t ruin it by pointing out how excited you were at thanksgiving, when you were talking about Bonnie’s first christmas. I certainly won’t mention how besotted you were with your beautiful wife and that you asked my advice on a particular item you want to buy her.
Don’t worry Andrew, your pretend tough guy character is in safe hands.

Comment by George

bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

Nice work George. I always laugh when people think the way Andy acts on here represents how he is in ‘normal’ life. Sure, he could have an argument in an empty house, but underneath all the swearing and provoking, lies a man who is not only smart, but could be best described as Mr Sweetie.

Well, at least to family & friends.

If he’s in a good mood. Ha.

Comment by Rob

So this is how I learn Andy actually hates me. Thanks a lot Rob.

Comment by DH

im suing for fucking slander campbell. and dave, how the fuck have you only worked that out now? the good news is i hate you less than i hate campbell and auntie.

Comment by andy@cynic

Funny how agencies tend to overlook the small, meaningful acts that everyone else notices. Especially customers.

Comment by Bazza

Not all agencies think that way Baz, but I do agree, many don’t. The sad thing is so many either focus on the big or the small when what it actually needs is people who appreciate and value both.

I know that is why clients hire multiple agencies so that they can have a holistic view to marketing their brand, but as we all know, collaboration these days appears to be smiling at the client while you try and fuck over your agency ‘partners’.

Comment by Rob

I hate the word but that’s not holistic, that’s divide and rule. A truly holistic approach would involve a range of different outlooks, opinions and ideas direat from the source and not fioltered thropugh agency processes and flavours of the week.

Comment by John

Fair point … but I would say that is what clients intention is, even if the reality is that the process and the remuneration issue influences collaboration and action.

Comment by Rob

What I have always liked about you Robert is your broad and open approach towards creating meaningful ideas. You appreciate the importance of small actions and big vision and that is what helps set you apart. I know you had nothing to do with the John Lewis work, but to me, it has your approach written all over it. Excellent post.

Comment by Lee Hill

he has some really good blackmail shit on you doesnt he lee.

Comment by andy@cynic

Rob, can you send me the name of the book you used to learn how to hypnotize people into liking you.

Comment by DH

How pissed is George going to be seeing Rob get all his credit.

Comment by Billy Whizz

He’s used to it.

Comment by DH

georges talent was making friends with people who fucking mattered. campbells talent was making georges friends think he was half fucking decent. my talent was making them all look good. but did i ever get the credit? did i fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

Don’t worry Andy, we know the truth.

Comment by DH

doesnt fucking pay my mortgage does it.

Comment by andy@cynic

Or your alimony.

Comment by DH

dont fucking remind me.

Comment by andy@cynic

I love this blog.

Comment by Bazza

Which mortgage?

Comment by John

He’s only got one. The rest were all paid in cash. Via a brown paper bag. Probably.

Comment by Rob

Do you think that the way in which agencies recruit jr. talent is at the basis of this? I don’t see many juniors walking in holding these kind of small ideas.

Comment by Paul

I think it has more to do with the limited training agencies give their juniors and their myopic belief only their process matters. This is likely due to many agencies only caring about their revenue.

Comment by George

Yep, I think you summed it up pretty well there for me George.

Comment by Rob

I hate Christmas.

Comment by Marcus

Yep. Though I like the freebies.

Comment by Rob

I don’t even like them.

You know all of these Christmas adverts annoy me. No, they upset me. They are a constant reminder of how I have failed at being something the adverts suggest I should be. They are a reminder of how my entire family has failed at being something the adverts suggest we should be.

Comment by Marcus

I understand that. I can’t – fortunately – relate to it, but I definitely understand it.

That said, a psychologist would say it is more your issue than theirs – and while that sounds way harsher than I would ever mean – it does highlight you are a good, honourable man that genuinely wants to do the best by the people in your life who matter.

And you are doing that, even if you don’t necessarily see it.

Here endeth my sermon.

PS: I know this, because I feel the same about different situations. I also know that regardless who tells me otherwise – or how many times they tell me – I’ll still always think that way. The flaw – and strength – in the human character.

Comment by Rob

Psychologists are as blinkered as agencies and clients.

Comment by John

Everyone is to a certain extent John.

Ooooooh, that’s deep!

Comment by Rob

I believe that was my point.

Comment by John

Of course it’s my issue.

Comment by Marcus

Jeez, I was only trying to be supportive.

Comment by Rob

I know. Sorry, Robert, that came out all wrong. Sorry.

Comment by Marcus

Why not make the little things the big thing. TV spots on present wrapping etc would be hugely differentiating and would remind us of long ago, gentler times when concepts like branded utility were still fashionable.

Comment by John

Did you really say ‘put a TV ad’ on wrapping paper?

I know flexible screens are available, but I think people my balk when the cost of the wrapping paper costs more than their house, let alone the present they’ve bought.

But I get your point. And some brands do it already … but I would say they tend to be brands driven by smart marketers rather than clever ad agencies.

Not always, but often.

Comment by Rob

I bet you’d buy some.

Comment by John

You know me so well.

Comment by Rob

Adam and Eve really are good aren’t they?
That little things making a big difference is exactly the piont of view I’m applying to a pitch next week, I can’t decide if I should share this – it will either support it’s a stong approach or make people think I copied it
And no, it’s not Nike

Comment by northern

If it’s getting retail staff to lace newly purchased NIKE, I’m happy for you to present it.

And to be honest, it’s not a matter of whether it’s copied or not … it’s hardly like there’s no other videos online showing how to wrap presents and shave properly etc … it’s the fact they did it because they thought it was important because as the last line of this post says, to truly connect to people, it’s about demonstrating you care, rather than just saying it.

Comment by Rob

I’m not worried if they copied it more they people don’t think I’m copying them
Mind you it’s only bog roll who gives a monkeys

Comment by Northern

your lack of sleep is improving your spelling but totally fucking up your ability to write coherent fucking sentences. or it could be because youre a planner. same effect.

Comment by andy@cynic

Collectively the views of these videos is small. Do little things have to reach bigger audiences to actually matter?

Comment by John

Obviously, the more the better, but I never underestimate the impact something can have it if positively affects a few people. And besides, while the videos have limited reach, it’s not like that’s the only small thing they do – which is maybe the point to be honest.

Comment by Rob

whoever the fuck is doing john lewis pr is going to find this blog, find the hundred and fucking twenty comments weve written in the last 2 days and claim this is the media zeitgeist. what a fucking shame for them that 90% of the 120 bastard comments are about campbell being a dick and billy being a loser and are written by people that have less commercial value than a green shield stamp.

me excluded.

Comment by andy@cynic

Late to this post, but spot on.

Comment by Rob Mortimer




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