Faithful readers of our newsletters will know that, here at 4C, we love to use data to predict future outcomes and prove past correlations. These insights can be especially intriguing when the findings are unexpected.
 
We typically thumb our noses at focus groups and polls that reflect limited samples of people in contrived environments. We advocate for more scientific approaches using observed behavior rather than self-reported data.
 
That said, every now and then, it’s refreshing when you don’t need any data at all to tell you that something is effective. And even better is when the data that comes back reaffirms what you already knew in your gut.
 
Such was the case with the John Lewis ad featuring Sir Elton John. John Lewis (now & Partners) always goes big for its Christmas season commercials and this year was no exception. The ad generated 135% social lift ­– that’s the increase in social media engagement in the 5 minutes following airing – which was higher than any other festive spot. But you didn’t need our data to tell you that. You felt the lift in your spirit the minute the ad was over.

Image source: The Daily Mail (using 4C data)

To be sure, money can’t always buy success – much less happiness – as evidenced by last year’s results in which John Lewis barely made the top 10. The key is knowing your audience and what is most likely to resonate. From there, it’s all about creating a surround sound experience.
 
As I told the Daily Mail: “In today’s cross-channel world, figures like social lift and sentiment scores represent a more holistic view of advertising’s net effect than just counting views or viewers. For many of us, the first time we see the John Lewis Christmas ad will be on social media. And for those that see it first on TV, many will turn immediately to social media to comment. To effectively reach multi-screening consumers, it’s now critical to take an audience-oriented approach that reaches consumers at the right place and time.” 
 
Now it’s time to gut check the rest of 4C’s Insights.

Get the rest of 4C’s Insights Volume 138 here.