John Lewis: We make £8 for every £1 we spend on our Christmas ads

Cute animals and adorable kids are serious business for the British retailer...

John Lewis: We make £8 for every £1 we spend on our Christmas ads

John Lewis

The 2016 John Lewis Christmas ad was released this morning and #BusterTheBoxer (played by Biff, the 5 year old boxer) proceeded to takeover the internet for a few hours.

These ads are undoubtedly effective when it comes to gathering an audience - but does this virality translate into cold hard Christmas sales?

"We typically make nearly £8 per £1 we spend (on these ads) so it’s a good use of partners’ money," a John Lewis spokesperson told Newstalk.

"Christmas is the most important time of the year for us as a brand. Typically around 40% of our profit is made during xmas and we see a really good return on investment in our ad," the retailer continued.

The company's first big budget TV spot was The Shadows from 2007.

2012's The Journey was the first ad to feature non-human protagonists.

It delivered record-breaking sales for the firm's stores while other high street retailers struggled.

This year's advert passed the one million view mark on YouTube within hours of being uploaded - 2015's Man on the Moon has amassed over 25 million.

Over the years the spots have moved further from traditional adverts featuring their products, focusing more on heart warming viral-friendly shorts - while maintaining the underlying message the buying Christmas presents makes people (and occasionally dogs and foxes) happy.

John Lewis will also be partnering with Snapchat to create a bespoke Snapchat lense to transform users into Buster the Dog. Its stores will also have a special Snapchat geo-filter.

John Lewis

But not everyone agrees that the strategy works.

Management Today broke down the company's 2014 Christmas sales and compared them to Debenhams’ and made a convincing argument that the two experienced very similar festive sale boosts.

Last year House of Fraser enjoyed a significantly larger Christmas bounce, with a 8% increase in like-for-like sales - compared to John Lewis who had a (still very healthy) 4.8% bounce.