Campaign details

Brand: John Lewis
Advertiser: John Lewis Partnership
Agency: adam&eveDDB; Manning Gottlieb OMD


The success of John Lewis' Christmas campaigns is well documented. This paper is different.

It explores the brand's less famous 'Work Horse' advertising. At over 70% of media spend, this works in tandem with the 'Show Pony' Christmas campaigns, powering year-round sales, without a monster in sight.

It illustrates how rigorous evaluation and continuous refinement make Christmas and year-round advertising work together to become more efficient each year. In 2016, this approach led to John Lewis' most effective year ever.

A tough time for retail

It's a challenging time on the UK high street. A shift to online shopping, coupled with a turbulent economic climate, has produced a retail Armageddon.

The collapse of BHS (British Home Stores) in 2016 was heralded by the media as the 'beginning of the end' for bricks and mortar stores. The Financial Times claimed, 'full price retailing is dead'i. Across the country, around 1,500 stores go out of business each year.ii