So, whatever John Lewis is doing to get more views for its annual Christmas advert is something that other brands and their agencies will want to understand as soon as possible. For example, the ER3 and ER7 metrics measure a video or publisher’s engagement rate over the first 3 and 7 days, respectively, benchmarked across all content (e.g. 2.2x more engaging than average). For example, people might see your Christmas advert on TV and then go online to learn more. So, kudos to John Lewis for creating yet another Christmas advert that’s more engaging than average. Next, double-check the campaign-level targeting that you’re using. Finally, you can improve your TrueView advertising results – without increasing your video ad budget – by using online video metrics that really matter for brand advertisers and their agencies. But, you can also target people based on what they do off of Facebook. Or, you can create Custom Audiences to target people you already know. For example, the new John Lewis Oxford Street shop in London may want to target specifically. Then again, the brand and its agency could have learned who they should target more specifically during last year’s campaign, which has enable them to get 2.5 times more bang for the same ad budget this year.
Now, I know that most of the video ads that brands and agencies will launch for the holidays have already been shot, edited, reviewed, and approved, and they’re just waiting to be uploaded and published. But, it’s not too late to learn a few last-minute Christmas video marketing lessons from John Lewis, a chain of upmarket department stores operating throughout the United Kingdom.
For example, check out “John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016 – #BusterTheBoxer.” Uploaded to YouTube on November 10, 2016, it has generated 16.7M views, 13.8M in the first 3 days alone!
A second version of the video, “#BusterTheBoxer,” was uploaded directly to Facebook on the same day. It generated 31.6M views, 30.1M in the first 3 days after it was published. This puts #BusterTheBoxer significantly ahead of the pace set by “John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015 – #ManOnTheMoon.” Uploaded to YouTube on Nov. 6, 2015, #ManOnTheMoon generated 12.3M views in 7 days, 10.4M of those views in the first 3 days.
A second version of “John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015 – #ManOnTheMoon” was uploaded directly to Facebook on the same day generated 6.5M views in the first 7 days. So, the two versions of #BusterTheBoxer got a total of 48.3 million views over their first 7 days, compared to a total of 18.8 million views for the two versions of #ManOnTheMoon over their first 7 days.
Comparing Video Campaign Metrics
Now, video marketers already know that comparing views on YouTube and Facebook is like comparing apples and oranges. But, I’m using different metric to compare a basket of apples and oranges from last year to a basket of apples and oranges from this year. And this year’s basket of views is more than 2.5 times larger. So, whatever John Lewis is doing to get more views for its annual Christmas advert is something that other brands and their agencies will want to understand as soon as possible.
Tubular Labs, the only analytics software dedicated to giving publishers and content marketers the most comprehensive and actionable video intelligence, introduced two new metrics in 2016 – V3 (views generated in the first 3 days after upload), and V7 (view generated in the first 7 days after upload). V3 and V7 enable us to benchmark YouTube and Facebook videos from 5.3 million publishers over two important milestones, respectively. Using Tubular, you can also use V30 to compare and contrast your videos with those from competitors over their first 30 days.
But, views isn’t the only metric that matters. That’s why Tubular also introduced new metrics for engagements over the first 3, 7, and 30 days. For example, the ER3 and ER7 metrics measure a video or publisher’s engagement rate over the first 3 and 7 days, respectively, benchmarked across all content (e.g. 2.2x more engaging than average). Using Tubular’s new engagement rate metrics, the YouTube version of #BusterTheBoxer had an ER3 of 1.1 x and an ER7 of 1.4x, while the YouTube version of #ManOnTheMoon had an ER3 of 0.9 and an ER7 of 1.1x. Meanwhile, the Facebook version of #BusterTheBoxer had an ER3 of 1.6x and an ER7 of 1.7x, while the Facebook version of #ManOnTheMoon had an ER3 of 1.8x and an ER7 of 1.9x.
So, this year’s Christmas advert by John Lewis generated roughly similar cross-platform engagement over the first 3 and 7 days than last year’s one over the same period of time. Since a V7 that’s 2.5 times higher can’t be explained by a significantly higher engagement rate, this indicates that John Lewis may have put a bigger ad budget behind promoting this year’s Christmas advert. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Brands can get views organically by creating engaging content that people like, comment on, and share. Their agencies can also get views by leveraging paid video advertising to put that engaging content in front of the right audience. And in the world of online video, the target audiences are far more segmented than the ones reached by television. So, the media targeting process involves a lot more strategic choices than selecting which shows on ITV currently have the right reach and composition for your annual Christmas advert.
The Impact of Mobile on Video Marketing
In addition, mobile phones have created new ways for consumers to engage with brands, often blurring the physical and online worlds. For example, people might see your Christmas advert on TV and then go online to learn more. Or, they might watch a mobile video while they’re commuting on the London Underground (aka the Tube) that inspires them to shop when they’re back home on their laptops. Or, they might watch your annual Christmas advert online and then go into your department store to buy that Plum Space Zone II Trampoline & Accessory Pack that was featured in Buster the Boxer. So, if there are some last-minute lessons worth learning from John Lewis, then one of them is this: Creating emotional content that’s even more engaging than last year’s memorable hit is hard.
So, kudos to John Lewis for creating yet another Christmas advert that’s more engaging than average. And more kudos to the company for adding “Discover Buster’s Garden in 360” this year. It enables viewers to look around and explore the 360 world of #BusterTheBoxer and his friends on their mobile, tablet or desktop devices.
Now, if viewers are watching on a mobile phone, they’ll need to have the YouTube app installed on their device to get the full 360 experience. Or, to explore Buster’s Garden in a Google Cardboard device, they can simply touch the cardboard icon, insert their phone, and view the world in 360. These requirements may explain why Buster’s Garden, which was also uploaded Nov. 10, 2016, only has a V3 of 71,100 and a V7 of 87,200 views. And it has an ER3 of 0.5x and an ER7 of 0.6x, which indicates that John Lewis is still trying to figure out the best practices for making an…