In the first episode of the Dog ’n’ Bone coming out of lockdown, Propeller Group Chairman Martin Loat speaks to the client behind some of the most famous UK advertising of all time, Craig Inglis, former Customer Director for John Lewis Partnership & Waitrose, and the man who made the ads happen, James Murphy, founding partner of Adam&Eve and more recently New Commercial Arts.
The legendary pair discuss making the magical John Lewis Xmas ads, speculate on what Christmas advertising in the year of COVID will look like – and reveal how Craig and Richard Branson shared a memorable moment in a Virgin Trains loo.
Here’s a sample of James Murphy on the challenge for brands and creatives planning Christmas in July:
“It’s almost like Christmas has come early, you know, because brands have entered a lot of the same emotional territory.
And so I think there is a dilemma about what you actually do when Christmas comes around. I’m sure there will probably be a huge bidding war for people like Major Tom. I’m sure some retailers will be trying to get very visible heroes like him into their Christmas advertising – they’ll be trying to co-op nurses and other essential workers.
I think that there may also be a return to a more practical approach to Christmas, because we may still be dealing with certain constraints on what we can and can’t do in terms of shopping and what we can and can’t do in terms of getting together with our friends and loved ones. So that may be reflected as well.
But I do think there’s been a huge glut of sentimentality in around the COVID period. So I think everyone will need to have to fast a little bit through the autumn before they can deal with another sugar rush of Christmas sentiment.”