By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

November 11, 2013 | 2 min read

The public’s anticipation of this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad reached fever pitch at the weekend when it was finally launched, with the YouTube version already amassing more than its popular 2012 ad just days after it was released.

The brand’s 2012 Christmas snowman advert has notched up 3.7 million views since its release last year while this year’s offering, less than a week after its release, has gained 3.9 million views.

According to statistics from We Are Social, social media buzz was also higher this year with a 29 per cent increase in Twitter conversation and 86,300 Twitter mentions within its launch weekend. On top of that, John Lewis gained 12,000 new Facebook fans and an additional 7,000 Twitter followers – no doubt helped along by the patience of one unrelated @johnlewis Twitter account.

However, the data showed that although Twitter conversation was higher, its increase was less substantial than the 265 per cent rise between the 2011 and 2012 adverts.

The brand prepared for the social media reaction by creating a Twitter profile for the advert’s main characters, bear and hare, and the #bearandhare hashtag received 18,200 mentions at the weekend, proving the most popular ahead of #johnlewis with 4,200 mentions and #johnlewischristmasadvert2013 with 3,600.

Ed Kitchingman, senior analyst at We Are Social, commented: “John Lewis should be delighted with the overwhelming response and positive reaction to its 2013 advert.

“Its reputation, savvy marketing and clever use of social media to create hype ahead of its official release has helped turn the airing of its Christmas advert into a national event.”

The research showed that 80 per cent of the social media buzz was in praise of the ad, while 70 per cent of the conversation was dominated by a female audience.

Click here for a journey through the John Lewis Christmas ads of years gone by, or click here to watch an exclusive documentary showing how the brand learned to make the nation cry... and buy.

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