John Lewis’ v Robinsons’ Britain
July 5, 2010
— advertising, john lewis ad, marketing, modern britain
It’s taken me a while to write this post as it’s on the difficult subject of diversity in marketing. Being half Malaysian and half Guyanese you would have thought I would do this freely but living in the melting pot that is London, I’ve never had to consciously contemplate it.
For me the Britain I know is personified by the Robinsons Wimbledon ad. The whole spectrum of our society rooting for the same thing, no matter how far fetched the possibility of a British Champion. A collective ideal we can all be part of.
In comparison, the John Lewis ad which has gained so much notoriety leaves me out in the cold. It uses a White, middle class ideal-family life, from cradle to grave to illustrate the store’s unbroken commitment to its customer. Unfortunately the ad’s lack of diversity portrays a brand that is uninterested in engaging any other walk of British life.
I respect John Lewis for its decency in pricing and love it because it’s an institution I felt safe with and relied upon. I saw John Lewis as the mum to B&Q’s DIY dad.
Perhaps that’s why I was so disappointed with the ad. I thought I was part of the John Lewis family, but now I am left wondering.