MARKETING SOCIETY AWARDS for EXCELLENCE 2012: Marketing communications

WINNER John Lewis (Agency: Adam & Eve)

Retailer John Lewis has created the defining marketing communications of our era with its tear-jerking TV campaigns created by Adam & Eve. The retailer shows that the right approach to marketing communications can help a business grow even through an economic downturn. Where other retailers have responded to tough trading with short-term deals, John Lewis has focused on its enduring values and has touched the nation's hearts with emotional advertising.

The 'Always a woman' ad campaign in 2010 and a series of Christmas campaigns, including the 2011 'The Long Wait' campaign, eschewed the glitz and celebrity of other retailers and have captured the mood of consumers while delivering strong commercial success. Like-for-like sales and profit have grown through 2010-11 and the retailer has also improved its market share position.

The campaigns sprang from two core marketing thoughts. First, John Lewis's commitment to be 'Never Knowingly Undersold' and also the idea that John Lewis is the home of thoughtful gifting at Christmas. The campaigns have restated the power of quality TV campaigns, even in a time of economic downturn. Judges highlighted the fact that companies are now asking Adam & Eve to 'do a John Lewis'. 'They are connecting with customers in an outstanding way. It is beautiful marketing that is beautifully executed. John Lewis held its nerve this Christmas and it paid off,' said the judges.


  • ASOS, The urban tour; British Gas, Nectar launch; Mercedes, Escape the map; 
  • Orange Gold Spots, Getting the A-Team for free


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