James Murphy has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders this season. He is the creative force behind five Christmas advertising campaigns launching this season that could make or break the festive season for the brands involved. Murphy is the co-founder and chief executive of agency adam&eveDDB, which has produced the beautiful John Lewis’s Christmas adverts since 2009.
During this period, the department store has set the benchmark for festive marketing campaigns by attracting tens of millions of views online, turning bears, hares and penguins into cuddly toys and generating two number one singles in the UK music charts alone.
“It is a lovely, very simple story,” he said of the 2015 John Lewis advert, which features a young girl transporting a present to a lonely man on the moon.
However, #OnTheMoon is not the only campaign being launched by Murphy this week. He is also overseeing festive marketing drives by Waitrose, Mulberry, Harvey Nichols and, in stark contrast, an advert by Australian cat food brand Temptations. “We have 48 clients, so there is a great diversity,” he said. “You can have broad, populist, everyday grocery brands like Unilever, and then things like Harvey Nichols, which may be a more niche audience.”
Christmas can account for almost half of a retailer’s sales, which makes this a vital time of year for agencies and their clients.
So what is the key to a successful Christmas advert?
1. Something that makes people excited that it is Christmas.
2. Ultimately, get noticed and be remembered.
3. Research suggests people go to four or five places when they go shopping – aim to be one of the places they go to.