Thought I’d hit the print adverts for a change, and a Tube advert at that. I rarely take the Tube, being a bus boy at heart. But after a long hearty walk at the weekend I had to take it home, and so ended up in the carriage with this particular John Lewis ad. Now I was picked up on my “Waitrose don’t TV advertise” assertion on Day 2 of this Advent Calendar, so I won’t be so foolish to suggest that John Lewis never advertise. But they don’t advertise much. It isn’t easy for a department store to advertise after all, they sell everything: what do you prioritise? You either do lots of niche ads, or none at all. Or: as John Lewis have done, build up considerable brand loyalty over a good deal of time (two year guarantees as standard, “Never Knowingly Undersold” etc).

So what these John Lewis ads want to stress is this variety. They do so by having lots of stuff on them. There seems to be a current trend in Tube Ads (on tube ads I mean, not the big ones in the tunnels) for incomprehensibly small writing. There is one for some over the phone (and internet) counsellors called which will literally drive you blind trying to read. And this John Lewis ad is the same with lots and lots of small words. However that was not what made it completely incomprehensible. The real problem was someone had turned it upside-down. Maybe the man installing it had a deep burning hatred for Peter Jones in Sloane Square*. Maybe someone as a prank (though it is unclear how to do this, which is just as well as I would be doing it all the time. So today’s ad is presented as I saw it:


*Part of the John Lewis Partnership.