If an ad becomes famous enough, it runs the risk of mockery – as Lynx found out when Specsavers sent up the amorous, frenzied women of its deodorant campaigns (to cite just one example). The John Lewis Christmas ad has become something of a seasonal institution, so it was perhaps only a matter of time before another brand parodied it for its own campaign. On November 4, Iceland did just that, and data from YouGov BrandIndex shows that the spoof went down well among the public.
Mimicking the emotional beats of the John Lewis ad – where a boy befriends an alien, but with a Space Raider superimposed over the extra-terrestrial mascot – the parody coincided with an increase in Impression scores for Iceland (a net measure of sentiment towards a brand), which rose from 14.2 to 22.6 between November 3 and November 17 (+8.4).
Over this two-week period, Recommend scores also rose by seven points from 10.8 to 17.8, and Quality scores increased from 1.7 to 7.4 (+5.7). Consumers were also more likely to say they were happy Iceland customers on November 17 than November 4: Satisfaction scores saw an improvement of nearly ten points during this timeframe, going from 16.6 to 26.2 (+9.6). The supermarket’s immediate commercial prospects also seem to have brightened: Consideration scores saw an increase of nearly four points, rising from 14.2 to 18.1 (+3.9).
For some years now, there have been concerns in some quarters that the John Lewis Christmas ad is becoming tired. Whether this fatigue is real or not, and whether Iceland’s effort takes advantage of it, it is the latest in a long history of parodies that have successfully poked fun at earnest, sentimental marketing – and in this case, to positive reception among the public.
This article originally appeared in City A.M.