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By The Drum Team | Editorial

November 8, 2013 | 2 min read

As its new Christmas TV ad hits screens, John Lewis is the talk of the nation once again.

But rewind just a few years to 2009 and the retailer – a middle income store with premium pretensions in a desperate financial climate – was struggling to entice shoppers and, for a time, looked like it might follow many of its competitors down the path to oblivion.

So just how did it transform itself from an irrelevance into the darling of our high street?

The IPA and Thinkbox have teamed up to produce this exclusive documentary looking at how John Lewis shrewdly turned to emotional advertising to win a place in the hearts and minds of consumers – and earn £1,074m of incremental sales and £261m of incremental profit in just more than two years.

The film tells the story behind the 'making the nation cry... and buy' campaign strategy from Adam&EveDDB and Manning Gottlieb OMD, and features interviews with John Lewis marketing director Craig Inglis, directors at the agencies involved and the judges who awarded the work the Grand Prix at the 2012 IPA Effectiveness Awards.

Havas Media's chief strategy officer Marie Oldham, who was convener of that judging panel, said: "The genius is both in the emotional core of the idea and also how it uses TV and social platforms together.”