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"A unique moment in advertising": John Lewis's Becky Brock

"Moz the Monster" is the UK's most popular Christmas video ad, topping YouTube's Ad Leaderboard for November, and ratcheting up double the views of last year's winner, Sainsbury's. Director of marketing Becky Brock tells how John Lewis now witnesses a "unique moment in advertising" each Christmas and uses YouTube for "discoverability" and on-demand viewing.

Becky Brock, director of marketing, John Lewis
Becky Brock, director of marketing, John Lewis

"For many, the John Lewis Christmas ad now signifies the start of the festive season, something we are really proud of. Each year, when the film launches, we experience what is a unique moment in advertising: people actively seek out our ad online. This behaviour naturally means that YouTube, as the best platform for discoverability of video content online, has been at the heart of our online strategy for many years.

"As consumer behaviour has developed, YouTube has been at the forefront of new consumption trends – our Christmas ad is now enjoyed ‘on demand’ at any time. We now see the majority of our YouTube viewing from a mobile or tablet device, so our campaign is enjoyed in a variety of moments outside of the traditional front room screen, enhancing our overall reach.

"The platform also provides our customers with the opportunity to delve deeper into the brand story. Whether with behind the scenes content or related gifting ideas, we use it to provide deeper engagement with our Christmas narrative.

"Our strategy was no different in 2017, with the additional focus on ensuring that we allowed users of the channel to enjoy our content upon launch, while, as a brand, taking the utmost care to ensure the ad was viewed within a brand safe environment."

The YouTube Ads Leaderboard is a list of the top 10 most popular video ads in the UK each month. The ranking is determined using some of YouTube’s strongest signals of viewer choice – number of views within the country, view rate (how much of an ad people choose to watch), and percentage of organic views versus paid views.

Created by Adam&Eve/DDB, the John Lewis ad had just over 9 million views by December 7. Marks & Spencer’s "Paddington & the Christmas visitor" by Grey London had racked up just over 6.5 million views, making it the second most popular Christmas ad on YouTube. Sainsbury’s "Every bit of Christmas" by Wieden+Kennedy, had amassed nearly 4.5 million, at number 3.

1. John Lewis "Moz the Monster"

Creative agency: Adam&Eve/DDB
Media agency: Manning Gottlieb OMD

2. Marks & Spencer "Paddington and the Christmas visitor"

Creative agency: Grey London
Media agency: Mindshare

3. Sainsbury's "#everybitofchristmas"

Creative agency: Wieden+Kennedy
Media agency: PHD

4. Very.co.uk "Get more out of giving"

Creative agency: St Luke's
Media agency: Dentsu Aegis

5. Argos "#ReadyForTakeOff"

Creative agency: CHI & Partners
Media agency: PHD

6. Aldi "Kevin The Carrot"

Creative agency: McCann UK
Media agency: UM Manchester

7. Waitrose "Christmas Together"

Creative agency: Adam&Eve/DDB
Media agency: Manning Gottlieb OMD

8. Debenhams "#YouShallFindYourFairytaleChristmas"

Creative agency: JWT
Media agency: Carat UK

9. Boots "#ShowThemYouKnowThem"

Creative agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Media agency: MediaCom

10. Apple "Sway"

Creative agency: Media Arts Lab
Media agency: OMD

For previous months' YouTube Ad Leaderboards, see here