How to Guide for Marketers

Completely embarrassing when your Ad is identical to your competitor

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copycat

Oh, the immense pressure of doing the best holiday TV ad for the UK. Every retailer trying to outdo each other. Brands will spend months and millions of pounds to try to land that perfect spot that gets talked about at the dinner table. Sainsbury’s has released their new Christmas spot for 2018, and the major problem for Sainsbury’s is that John Lewis, the UK department store, launched a nearly identical ad two months ago.

Have a look at the two ads below, and you be the judge:

Sainsbury’s November 2018

John Lewis September 2018

  • Both use classic school musicals. We are expecting these musicals to be relatively weak, with nervous parents watching, and yet we are dazzled with over-the-top performances, equal to that of a Broadway musical.
  • Both are ooozzing with wholesome cuteness beyond belief. The plug was cute though. Also, so was the spaceship kid.
  • Even the tagline is similar: John Lewis uses “When you’re part of it, you put your heart into it.” while Sainsbury’s uses “We give all we’ve got for the ones we love.”

The consumer comments online suggest they’ve taken note of the similarities.

The Sainsbury’s ad feels like a lightweight compared to what we have seen out of the UK the past decade. This John Lewis ad wasn’t even a Christmas ad. It was just made to announce the merger of John Lewis and Waitrose.

Currently, Sainsbury’s 2018 Christmas ad has 5,700 likes and over 2,000 dislikes. That’s not a good start.

The saddest part for Sainsbury’s is they did a spectacular Ad in 2014, that took viewers back to the beginning of the first world war. Given we have just commemorated the end of that war, it might have been an excellent time for the bookend version.

Here’s the Sainsbury’s spot from 2014

At this point, we still await the new holiday ad from John Lewis for 2018. Rumour has it that Elton John will be singing “RocketMan.”

 

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