John Lewis ad: Cute animals but what’s with the phone box?


Like 7 million other people I’ve just watched the John Lewis Christmas ad on YouTube. It’s OK, it didn’t make me cry but it was kind of touching in the usual schmaltzy way and anything which involves animals jumping on trampolines has to be worth watching.

How did they do that? I do hope that no animals were hurt in the process and the hedgehog spikes didn’t damage the fabric so the owners had to take the trampoline back to John Lewis.

It also wasn’t so weird and pervy as last year’s 25 million views and counting, Man On The Moon John Lewis ad which did make me cry but for all the wrong reasons. The only weird thing about this one I thought (apart from the large amounts of snow, of course) were the shots of the BT telephone box outside the garden.

I mean where on earth can you find a telephone box these days? Did they have to cut out the shots of someone urinating in it? Did it even have a working telephone inside? Did BT pay for this kind of product placement and if so why? So many questions.


Anyway, nevermind just how obsolete phone boxes are. Seven  million views after 2 days on YouTube got me thinking about how TV is fast becoming obsolete too. I haven’t had a working TV aerial for ages and the only reason I’m watching TV at all is because I have a YouView box that streams ‘content’ from all of the players whenever I want.

Christmas TV ads may have become as big an institution as the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day, but the difference is you don’t have to ‘consume’ them at 3pm, you can do it at any time – and you don’t need a TV either.

Come to think of it you don’t need to use a phonebox to make a phonecall either. Who knew the 21st century could be this much fun?



CMA Digital Breakfast: Personalisation of Content


Pictured above: Daryll Scott, Director, Human Technology at Lab

I always love the CMA Digital Breakfasts. You get to meet some interesting people and find out more about topics you might not know too much about. Personalisation of content is a case in point.

Different people have different views about what it means but basically it’s about using data to find out more about who your audience actually is. New technology makes this easier than ever before, but the key is to use the data to guide your content and decision making rather than to become too obsessed with the stats.

Anyway, here’s a report from the last one I attended.