The Secret Within the John Lewis Advert

With much expectation and trepidation, the long-awaited 2018 advert from John Lewis arrived on our prime time TV screens. General disappointment was the reaction. What had Elton John got to do with John Lewis?

A little bit like an old-fashioned 90’s advert where brands pal up with a big celebrity, old hat; boo, hiss John Lewis.

However, few people, even myself saw their strategy, until a few days’ later a commercial for a John Lewis product was accompanied by a hit from Elton John. Then another product commercial escorted by another number from Elton John.

They’d cleverly anchored Elton John with John Lewis. Moreover, everytime you heard a song from the hitman, you thought John Lewis.

Extremely smart, subtle and memorable, well done John Lewis.

In the same way, you too can use the power of anchoring to help you in sales or coaching.

Just choose some kind of stimulus – a piece of music (like John Lewis), a touch, a visual (like a brand image) – something to create the memory you want them to have.

Here are some ideas:

  • When you meet your customer and shake their hands, casually touch their elbow when you greet them. This touch can be ignited later when you want them to decide to buy.
  • “Bottle” any good moments you have, maybe a considerable success. Create a stimulus to anchor with the great feeling, so to bring it back later, when you most need it.
  • Anchor your smile when you’ve created a grand rapport with your customer and bring this back when you want them to make the right decision.
  • During the initial factfinding with the customer, you do ask them what’s important to them in buying your service and how successful have they been in the past in buying it. You also take them back to the time when they were successful in buying and anchor that memory with a sound or touch. When you want them to make a decision, fire off the anchor, and they’ll feel confident to go ahead.
  • With a coaching client, take them back to a resourceful time, relive the moment when they oozed a particular resource that they currently need. Bring them back and re-ignite the resource.
  • Anchor specific resources that you need from time to time with pieces of music. Then create a playlist on Spotify and play this whenever you need this resource. For example, when you’re about to do a presentation, you might need confidence as a resource. Play your confidence tune. I use “I am the Resurrection” from the Stone Roses voted the number 10 guitar tune by Q Magazine. It revs me up so I can go out into the audience and “give ‘em large.”
  • That last anchor came from Teddy Sheringham just before the European Final in 1999, when he scored the crucial goal for Manchester United, so it undoubtedly works.

Uncanningly, every time I hear an Elton John track, guess what I recall in my head. You got it – John Lewis.