Nov 10, 2013
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John Lewis looks to animate Christmas sales with ad campaign

Nov 10, 2013

LONDON, England - John Lewis JLP.UL, Britain's No.1 department store group, is confident of outperforming rivals this Christmas, the employee-owned firm said on Friday as it launched a festive advertising campaign.

"We want John Lewis, as we have in the last few years, to literally own Christmas," the firm's managing director Andy Street told reporters.

The 149-year-old firm, whose worker co-ownership business model has been lauded by Prime Minister David Cameron, has been winning share from high-street rivals in recent years due to its strong online offering, modern stores and a more affluent customer base.

Last Christmas it reported record sales, while rivals, such as Marks & Spencer endured poor trading in a tough market.

Street said John Lewis' new loyalty card, launched on October 30, had already signed up 200,000 customers.

The firm is spending 7 million pounds ($11.3 million) on Christmas advertising this year and is using hand-drawn animation for the first time in its TV campaign.

The animation, created by agency Adam&Eve/DDB, tells a story of "The Bear and the Hare" and is set to a cover of rock band Keane's 2004 hit "Somewhere Only We Know" sung by Lily Allen.

It will go live on John Lewis' social media channels on Friday and launch on television on Saturday during the X Factor music show. In a first for broadcaster ITV, John Lewis has booked an entire advert break.

John Lewis' Christmas ads have generally proved a hit with the British public in recent years.

Last year's ad featuring two snowmen used a cover by Gabrielle Aplin of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Power of Love". The song became a No. 1 hit single for the second time.

M&S, Britain's biggest clothing retailer, launched its Christmas campaign, staring model Rosie Huntington-Whitley, on Wednesday.

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