Ads that work

The UK’s favourite department store now also officially boasts the UK’s most effective advertising campaign, having won the IPA Effectiveness Award’s Grand Prix prize

The UK’s favourite department store now also officially boasts the UK’s most effective advertising campaign.

John Lewis last night won the Grand Prix at the IPA’s Effectiveness Awards for its two-year, five-advertisements campaign by Adam & Eve and Manning Gottlieb OMD. From the first ‘Remember the feeling’ Christmas ad to the recent ‘Through the ages’ clip, the campaign included much talked-about, filmic TV ads. It won for combining “wonderfully emotive creativity with evident effectiveness”, according to the judges – in other words pulling at the UK’s heart strings paid off.

This year’s John Lewis Christmas ad is yet to hit our screens, but to get yourself into the mood, here is ‘For gifts you can’t wait to give’ from last year:

The awards also highlighted a “particularly outstanding” crop of public sector prizes. ABM BBDO took a special prize for ‘Best Demonstration of Consumer Participation’ for its hard-hitting campaign for the Metropolitan Police, ‘Who killed Deon?’, which tackled youth violence and explained the legal principle of ‘joint enterprise’.

The Digital UK awareness campaign ‘Leaving no-one behind’ by DLKW Lowe, Digital UK, BBC Switchover Help Scheme and MediaCom, which targeted family, carers and other community-minded people with outreach packs and targeted messaging, won for ‘Best Channel Planning’.

Leo Burnett’s work for the Department for Transport was recognised with a Gold win…

… as was Ogilvy & Mater Singapore’s ‘I quit’ anti-smoking campaign for Singapore’s Health Promotion Board.

Other special prizes went to Snickers’ ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ series of ads by AMV BBDO, and Cadbury Dairy Milk India won ‘best use of insight’ for its campaign in the country, by Ogilvy & Mather India.

The list of Gold winners also included the bold anti-brands series of ads from Aldi, by McCann Manchester, another AMV BBDO campaign, for Walkers Crisp. And Leo Burnett’s work for McDonald’s.



It’s always fun to revisit some past ads that strike gold in terms of emotional engagement – especially if they go hand-in-hand with the cold hard facts of proven ROI.

For the full list of winners: IPA awards website.


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