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Analysis : John Lewis Christmas ad only engaged 0.7% of viewers


John Lewis video performance review

The newly released John Lewis Christmas video ad has turned into a viral hit, but at an enormous cost. Can the ROI of this video be truly measured? After looking at the data, it's only managed to engage 0.7% of people watching it.

Lets look at the stats in more detail so you guys understand how I got to that figure.

According to the Guardian, the total cost of producing the video has been around the £7 million mark, which makes it twice as expensive as the entire budget for 'The Full Monty'. The 1997 hit starring Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy and Steve Huison earned $250 million worldwide from ticket sales. Now these are two completely separate arenas, but the point I'm trying to convey here is that this is a lot of money for a video of such short length.

Moving on, the John Lewis video has now been viewed 8.2 million times. It features the voice of Lily Allen, it's very beautiful and you can see how much work has gone into it to make it truly spectacular. It is a creative success, but that doesn't necessary mean it will make shoppers want to buy products.

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Looking at the direct conversion of the video itself from a cold analytical point of view, the link in the description has generated almost 61000 clicks to the John Lewis online store. If we calculate that conversion rate we would roughly get 0.7%.


Let's say that we wanted to measure the cost of acquisition (ok now I'm getting really technical), from the initial spend of £7 million. We've generated 61000 potential sales clicks from 8.2 million theoretical customers. That means that the cost of each click was in the range of £147. Now that is a lot! Each of those clicks would on average have to generate more than £147 for the video to make a profit, but we can't base the success of this video solely on this number.

What it does show is that people like the video, but their intention is not to go to an online store and buy something directly after watching it. What it has done is successfully generate huge viral discussion about John Lewis which will no doubt generate sales from all the publicity surrounding its creation and viral success. But it is unlikely that this video has generated close to £7 million in direct sales from its own Youtube page. However, again, I would like to stress, that measuring the ROI of this video needs to account many factors but so far, the engagement could be considered "small".

Do you think this is money well spent?

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