Emotional Advertising

We are confronted by advertising every day. Some might go unnoticed, some might be irritating, but some we may actually want to actively consume.

Adverts have the potential to affect us in different ways. My focus was on emotional Christmas advertising, and this was my central question:

How must adverts be cinematically, dramaturgically, and narratively produced to evoke emotion?

To answer my question, I used a qualitative content analysis based on 11 years of John Lewis Christmas adverts from 2011 to 2021. John Lewis is a British brand of high-end department stores. Over the years, their Christmas campaigns have become a much anticipated and treasured British tradition. What makes them special is that rather than focusing on their products, they tell a story with an emotional narrative.

I also delved into the so-called John Lewis formula to discover what the most common patterns were.

The three key elements were:

– Emotional Narrative

– Loveable characters

– Music

Using the results of my analysis, I produced my own mini-film advert. I developed the story of a father and his daughter and the strong bond they share. For the soundtrack, the track to be covered was Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper. The lyrics of the song formed the narrative of the story.

Here’s the video summary of my thesis and final project.

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Time After Time Short-Film Advert: https://youtu.be/NF4mMpgC6JQ

Treatment: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RDxnbx_x3q1Lh9R8aodhOLbV3sAlFzBI/view?usp=sharing

BTS Video: https://youtu.be/OnMmjuY6_b8

BTS Photos: https://lauraehrenmedia.pixieset.com/timeaftertimebts/