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Predictably John Lewis currently retains the highest social engagement for Christmas ads, but for how long?

As of 10 December 2013, the John Lewis ‘The Bear and The Hare’ ad has achieved 10.3m views, and just over 1m engagements (likes, shares or comments).

However, its engagement-per-thousand-views (EPM) has dropped to 101, from 393 in four weeks.

This seems logical. The more popular and ubiquitous a video is, the less likely that people will bother sharing it as they feel they’re just adding to the noise of what we’ve already seen. 

Interestingly though, this viral complacency may lead to a pre-Christmas upset. 

Harvey Nichols could well sneak down John Lewis’s chimney and swipe its presents from underneath its immaculately presented Christmas tree overnight, with its subtly hilarious effort, ‘Sorry I Spent It On Myself’.

This advert was released a full two weeks after John Lewis's, ensuring that Harvey Nichols' effort wouldn’t be lost amidst the fuss and hype surrounding the now traditional John Lewis ‘event’.

Also, by creating a video that’s funny, realistic and certainly a lot more cynical than we’re used to seeing in a Christmas ad, Harvey Nichols offers a direct and refreshing alternative to ‘The Bear and The Hare’, targeting viewers who are perhaps a little ‘Christmassed-out’ by mid-December.

‘Sorry I Spent It On Myself’ also has a third of the views as ‘The Bear and The Hare’, so viewers may be more inclined to give it an extra nudge into virality.

There’s only a week to go until Christmas, and the Harvey Nichols advert really has a lot of catching up to do in terms of total views, but you never know what miracles may happen. Perhaps Lidl will suddenly overtake the entire pack.

In the meantime, courtesy of The 7th Chamber, here’s a rundown of the current top 10 UK retail brands with the highest EPM on YouTube:

1: John Lewis

2: Harvey Nichols

3: TK Maxx

4: Marks & Spencer

5: Sainsbury’s

6: Tesco

7: Morrisons

8: Boots

9: Debenhams

10: Lidl

All of these clips should all immediately be catapulted above the Tesco one, purely for not using that horrible Rod Stewart track.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 17 December, 2013 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (4)



The TX Maxx ad hit a number of social sites including Reddit shortly after this article was posted, bolstering it's views to >300k in a very short period.

Title of the Reddit post can be seen here:

As a result, the comments section are now filled with penis jokes.

Would be great to see how that spike impacted the total engagements/EPM scores.

almost 3 years ago



Thanks Christopher, a good list (though Rod fans might take issue).

7th Chamber do some nice work, with the metrics for (king) content a vital element of "new SEO" - careful with the EPM / ranking here however; the data needs checking as HN would be atop based on the data shown.

Engagements now a critical KPI, but exercise caution in its constituents (perhaps assign less value to the more spammable elements). Measures of "sharedness" will be more important in 2014.


+ Anyone else put off by the JL 'gormless looking' bear at 1:38? (gormless looking bears might take issue).

almost 3 years ago

Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff, Editor at Methods Unsound / Search Engine Watch

@Jack - That made my morning, thank you.

@Cressive - Insulting Rod fans and gormless bear fans in equal measure. It's a strong and forward thinking policy

almost 3 years ago



ur mum

almost 3 years ago

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