John Lewis Christmas ad reveals hostility on YouTube and brand love on Facebook

John Lewis Christmas ad reveals hostility on YouTube and brand love on Facebook

John Lewis’ Christmas advert shows that marketers cannot expect the same reaction from differing online communities. YouTube users are most sceptical of the advert, whilst those on Facebook react more emotionally and are the ones most likely to praise it.

John Lewis’ Christmas advert has received a lot of attention and driven substantial interest online. The advert has aired on TV, but has also been posted to YouTube, promoted via the John Lewis Facebook page and covered by various news sites. This has created a substantial level of online buzz around the creative, but not all of it has been positive and it has varied widely between different online locations.
 
Using 100% human coding, WaveMetrix analysis reveals that consumers commenting on John Lewis’ own Facebook page are generally extremely positive towards the advert. In contrast, those commenting on news sites are more divided, debating with each other about how good the advert is and even whether it is “racist” to show such a “typically white” family. This demonstrates that although content is important, where that content is promoted plays a large role in how it is received.
 
While Facebook fans rave about the ad, those on news sites and YouTube are more sceptical:
 
 John Lewis Christmas ad reveals hostility on YouTube and brand love on Facebook
 
  • Facebook fans “love” the ad, but YouTube users often greet it with sarcastic and negative comments: The established John Lewis Facebook community react the most positively, suggesting a loyal fan base is more likely to feel comfortable praising the brand
  • YouTube users and those commenting on news articles tend to be more divided: Although some do praise the advert, others comment sarcastically or criticise the John Lewis brand, suggesting promotion on outside of fostered communities is likely to be harder for a brand
Facebook discussion is very emotive and positive:
 
 John Lewis Christmas ad reveals hostility on YouTube and brand love on Facebook
 
  • Fans on Facebook tend to say they “love” the ad and react emotionally: Some even say they cried when they first saw it
YouTube discussion is more coldly rational, with consumers arguing over the content:
 
 John Lewis Christmas ad reveals hostility on YouTube and brand love on Facebook
 
  • Consumers on YouTube don’t tend to react emotionally: Instead, they debate whether the advert is potentially “racist” and argue about the content, demonstrating that this is a more hostile environment for a brand to promote itself

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