The Lab; Portnoy Media Group Blog

I’ve never understood certain tactics from agencies. They boast and brag about building a brand and continuing customer relationships but it feels like snake oil tactics. Why would you associate your brand with friendly extortion and a negative experience?


You can tell a better story than this but it takes a little bit of forethought and a decision to not go for cheap gags. Commit to great storytelling and solid branding, build a relationship and increase average donation size and the amount of people connecting to your non-profit.

If I were consulting with this group, here’s where I’d start. These ideas aren’t spending anymore money than they currently are and should have a great impact. Let’s check out a bit about their background.

Mission Statement: 

To provide wish kids with hope through uplifting and rejuvenating experiences refocusing on the joy of life.

To provide lasting support and memories for wish families.

To treat families and associates with dignity and protect their privacy.

To inspire greater community participation in fulfilling Wishing Star’s mission.

To sum up, Wishing Star has been around for 31 years and they have action steps (or what they solve) in their mission statement. This is great news. Clear and concise with no frilly language to confuse us.

Initial Impressions:

  • 6 active chapters of Wishing Star in various cities in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Website is a bit dated but they report back on the wishes they’ve granted.
  • The only social media is a Facebook fan page – might be a good idea to branch out.
  • They have a good stream of events so they can easily tease “what’s next” through the end of the year.
  • Lots of great stories that people can get behind, similar to Batkid. I found this video with 17K+ views and it has a lift bit of production value. They could easily create something on par or better.
  • Lots of room to connect emotions with their cause. Emotions = action.
  • Not a hard sell.

What we know:

We have access to goats, perhaps even baby goats. Who doesn’t like a baby goat?!?! They’ll look amazing on camera. Next up, let’s try a few ideas. Just spitballing and some of these will be bad. Here’s a few I’ve come up with:

  • Whatever we do, we have to make sure it’s scalable. The only way to do that is to create content that is catchy, funny and sharable. Filming this and taking stills to share through your different social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
  • Can we do a set up at a school and bring the petting zoo to a school or several schools? Perhaps a private nursery school. Have kids interact, including those who have been designated as Wishing Star families. Film the interaction of families and communities collaborating
  • Have the same set up at the local mall. Create a “scream like a goat contest”, film it, and give prizes for the winners.
  • Can we conspire with some well known local celebs to play some practical jokes of ambushing them with goats and film it? Based on photos, they’re doing some of that already.
  • Ditch the goats all together and come up with a better idea.

Potential costs:

Making a video and if it’s good enough to share, you’re going to have to pay for it. But you might be able to convince the local news media to be your media sponsor. Let them put together the piece and then they’ll push it through their social media (plus it’s a great news story, they’ve already got the connections) and you can support it by sharing it on your channels. Of course you’re going to get a copy and put it on your YouTube page. Plus with a partnership like that shows your brand in a positive light, you’ll have all the benefits and none of the work.

Looking at their Facebook page, the goat thing is a big deal. Although it’s not really being seen by their tribe – A few dozen likes and 1 share, not the impact you want for a big push. (The tease for the goat promo received penetration – 195 likes and 110 shares.) I’d recommend spending a couple dollars to advertise on facebook or walk away from it completely and put more of a focus on Pinterest or Instagram.

This event/campaign could be an annual event that’s become a part of their DNA and something they’re known for. It strikes me as odd but I’m probably not their primary or secondary audience. Creating a great experience for them is far more important than making me feel comfortable. This is a reminder I often tell advisory boards – “If the idea/campaign is not created with your demographic in mind, it’s ok for you to hate it.”


What would you suggest they do? How can they tell the best story?

Portnoy Media Group uses the influence of social networks to expand your organization's voice and tell your story. We connect people with your mission and enable your brand to be shared, discovered, and connected. Work with us as we empower your organization to dramatically extend your online presence and increase donations.

What do you mean by Acquisition?


“Hi Dan, reading through Non-Profit Narrative (love it, very inspiring) what do you mean by Acquisition? Specifically as a takeaway on pg. 53. Would this be in the sense of an “ask” after the event? Maybe acquiring more people into our story to tell the story? Would love a little help understanding this. Thanks!” – Michael Barsamian

Michael shot me this question via facebook and I thought this question may occur to more than one reader. He’s been kind enough to let me use this post to answer him.

Backstory and context:

This is taken from Chapter 3 of my book, The Non-Profit Narrative. Chapter 3 is when we move from theory to practicality.


In the book, I talk about arcs for campaigns. Events can work much the same way – there’s a life cycle to them. The image above shows how that event can work best. Take note that the event isn’t at the end of the arc, it’s about 75-80% of the way through the arc. 

Events are great but in large part they aren’t scalable. Classically speaking, your gala event or other large event happens as some sort of thank you or as a kick off from your largest donors to show momentum through the year. For a lot of organizations these were among the first things to cut in 2008-2009. But it’s been several years and they’re bouncing back.

In todays rough economy everything has to scale or have multiple payoff points. In the old economy the gala used to net big dollars, consume a ton of resources in time and dollars. If your event cost 10,000 and 100 attended, the net cost per person was $50 and that is never coming back. unless they gave over the $50 amount. And classically, that’s where it would stay. Now if that was a luncheon for donors that had given 10,000 or more in the last 12 months – that seems worth it. It’s a fine investment to make. However, it’s not scalable. The event happens, it impacts all the people in the room and then it’s over.

However, in the new digital economy for an 5-10% in resource we can use the same preparation to also impact our community and cultivate our current audiences.

So let’s take the same group. We want to have an event for donors that have given 10K and above in the last 12 months as a thank you. We set out to book the venue but now we also tease that we’re making preparations for a big thank you to our “Gold Circle Donors” (You mean you don’t have a name for your ultra donors? Change it fast!) Tease the event in in the prep by posting a photo to Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. the next day, do a quick 2-5 twitter/facebook posts about the qualifications to become part of the Gold Circle. This is also a great time to launch a blog post about those same qualifications. It’s a blog post so share all the info, share the lifecycle, share the page where your donors sign up to be part of that higher donor level. You’re now involving and informing your general audience on what it looks like to be a larger donor or a regular donor or whatever criteria you’d like to talk about.

With the details finalized, it’s time to begin the push for the event. If it’s a gala or on the level of fancy, I’m sure there’s a print element. Invitations are printed and sent in the mail. Take pics of the invites and share them through your social media channels. This may seem weird because it’s just mail… and maybe we’re getting too meta with taking pics of our invites… But please let me assure you, these pics and other activities help show momentum. Momentum is easy to get behind once the ball is already rolling. Todays audiences know that really well so show them what you’re up to, even if it feels silly.

A few days after the invites are out, start the tease via social media. If there’s a logo to share or if you can share the whole invitation, post it! Share about and thank sponsors as they sign on. Next up, email. Get your email targeted to the correct group and make it look like the invitation that you’ve sent out. But it can’t feel like a paper invite. It’s still digital, so be ready to receive RSVP’s and corporate sponsors from the email. Make sure you’re sending all the crucial information and have links to sponsorship, the ability to buy tickets. Eventbrite does some nice work for orgs and events. 

Over the next few weeks pepper info about the event through all communication channels. It should be a P.S. (read: call to action) on your corporate email until the event. As awards, special guests or talent is confirmed share that through your social media channels. Remember that pictures speak louder than your update. Plus the same photo can be used on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest – just not at the same time. If you’ve got options then know that square pics are better for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram and longer, thinner pictures work best on Pinterest.

Then as the event arrives, and it’s awesome. Make sure someone is blasting photos of the event out through all your social media channels… pretty much constantly while the event is happening. You can’t overdo it – release the hounds!

As the event ends, thanks everyone for being part of a great night. Thank your volunteers and take their picture. By showing who currently is helping you out, you’re giving vision to those who are debating volunteering next time. In a perfect world, you’ve had someone taking photos but you’ve also had someone capturing the event on video. Great b-roll of the mix and mingle and the remarks of your organizations leadership on how the organization is doing. You may also want to grab footage of the award that you’re presenting or the celebrities in attendance.

Because your event so well, I’m sure you had a program of some kind. And because you’re really smart, you created a video to sum up all the work you’ve achieved together this last year or to share a specific story of someone you’ve helped through your incredible organization. if you did that – GREAT JOB! You’ve just helped equip your social media channels with plenty of info.

If there was a video, get that on your YouTube/Vimeo channel ASAP. Once it’s there, share it through your channels and give the context. Tell the story of how the video came to be. Why was this person chosen? What are some of the crazy facts that you’ve achieved together in service or loving a problem. Give the vision – this is telling your story!

Prep that email with the story behind the video. Then link to it and ask your audience to share it. Prep 2-4 possible messages that your email recipients could cut and paste in their social media channels. Make sure they’re all less than 140 characters with your YouTube link included. Make sure your video has links to your site either in the description or through annotations. THIS IS SCALABLE ACQUISITION. You’ve created tools for your audience to share with their network the cool things that they’re apart of.  You’ve also empowered board members, staff and others to look cool by sharing a great story. All the data says peer to peer opinions matter far more than advertising, especially with millennials.

Any facts reported in the video can now be used to inform social media and allow you to yell from the roof tops about the work that you’re doing, THIS IS TYPICAL OR TRADITIONAL ACQUISITION. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn here, you’ve earned it. Your blog posts in the few weeks after the event should be sharing the photos and video that you have created from the event. Don’t forget to start teasing the next event or campaign so your audience knows what to be looking for.

This is how a campaign or event can be used to cultivate current donors and acquire new donors – plus all the work you did for a single event can now be shared with thousands.

A few caveats:

  • You have to create great work in invitations, photos and video.
  • If it’s embarrassing, slow or sappy, no one will share it.
  • Map these steps out on a calendar and set up reminders of what you’re going to be sharing each day.
  • These are instructions for a largely digital approach – acquisition though mailing lists is a afferent ballgame.
  • Keep your event program short – Don’t be self indulgent, this is about your donors satisfaction.

Thank you Michael for your question!

Michael Barsamian is an Area Director for Young Life in the Chino/Chino Hills area. (

If this kind of teaching is helpful to you, have your team sign up for the Non-Profit Storytelling Training class. For just $495 you and your team can walk through storytelling principles of your organization and strengthen the story that your telling, engage with your current donors and connect with new ones.

Watch the introduction here, for FREE!

Sign up for the class here 



Stories Aren’t Life. They’re Better!



What is it that we love so much in the hero, the heroine or the monster?

A well told story inspires. It hurdles the fences of our segmented thinking. A well told story knows no boundaries in setting, genre, characters or structure. The entire process dances and bends to the delight of the audience – showing triumph and tragedy in an orchestra of life change. Tension and suspense, driving us to the unknown.
And we want to know what happens next. Does he vanquish the villain? Does he get the girl?

Story is what drives people to town meetings and public squares. Story has the power to ignite revolution and drive change.

It’s the convergence of life with art.


Like what you see? Sign up for the entire class today, click here!



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Last Call!



10 Days ago we announced the first course in Non-Profit Story Training Series. This first class will be at a discounted rate of $247. (Regular price will be close to $500). Several organizations have signed up – from small to large in annual fundraising. All seeking to tell a great story, engage their audience and change the world.

In the Non-Profit Story System you’ll find:

  • How the Narrative Story Framework applies to your non-profit.
  • How to acquire and cultivate an audience while telling a compelling story.
  • Strategy to determine Your Best Audiences
  • The Top 3 Storytelling Principals
  • The Step-by-Step guide to Audit and Assess Your Social Media Presence – Turn the Social “Me” to a Social “We”.
  • How to Execute Your “Why” in Your Communications – The “Why” is the most important piece and will inspire your audience to action and support.
  • Ideas to help your team know what needs to be adjusted to transform your current site into a cultivation and acquisition tool.
  • How to Create a System to Measure Success (Key Performance Indicators)
  • The guide to determine your primary and secondary audiences and define the Ideal Behavior for them – Defining what you need will help staff and audiences know what they’re being asked to do.

Here’s what you need to do to secure your discounted spot:

  • Enter the coupon code PREORDER to get the discounted price (case sensitive)


Introductory pricing will end this week. Don’t miss out, enroll in the class today!




13 Choices To Inspire You With a Great Story

Christmas Holidays are great. Seeing family and rehashing old stories and catching up but sometimes it’s a lot. Make sure you make time to connect with family and loved ones this year but after the food coma kicks in and naps are prevalent and the puzzling ends – take a break and experience something new together.



I’ve been watching a lot from the PBS/BBC partnership of late. I don’t have anything against American TV or the producers but British television tends to leave out the hype. Instead theses shows are full of surprises because the conventions for these shows are different. Most of these shows will be found on Masterpiece Mystery! (Set your DVR’s) I’m also partial to my local KOCE-TV for all the awesomeness!

Here’s a few options for some great storytelling on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video




File Under: Unexpected Brilliance

Recommended If You Like: Elementary, my Dear Watson; The Usual Suspects; Firefly; Ripper Street.

If you haven’t watched this incredible take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters then this is a great time to start. I’ve written about it before here. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are excellent! Plus, the new season starts just after the first of the year!



File Under: Brooding becomes him

Recommended If You Like: Tough Guys, Complicated ladies.

Idris Elba’s title character is put through the wringer. A little bit of swagger and a serial killer character you won’t soon forget.



The Fall

File Under: The Ex-Files

Recommended If You Like: Silence of the Lambs, Insomnia

A dark crime thriller that definitely for adults. Set in Belfast, the series stars Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson, a senior police officer investigating a string of murders. Not sure if this actually aired on TV in the states.




File Under: Robing room

Recommended If You Like: Atticus Finch, Boston Legal, LA Law

An interesting and captivating look at the world of the British legal system. It’s like Law & Order with wigs minus the “doink doink”.


Bletchley Circle

File Under: Puzzlers

Recommended If You Like: Smart Ladies, Post War Intrigue, Tweed

A female dominated cast that shines brilliantly. Equal parts intrigue and code breaking. I’ve talked about this show before here. Notice the lack of floral prints on any of the ladies, it’s all geometric patterns.



File Under: Classic Branagh

Recommended If You Like: Swedish Meatballs and Architecture, Catch Me If You Can, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Kenneth Branagh is a Swedish detective, chasing bad guys and dealing with emotional issues. Plus a pre-Loki Tom Hiddleston.



Inspector Lewis

File Under: Leathal Weapon goes to the U.K. minus the saxophone

Recommended If You Like: Downton Mysteries,

Buddy cop drama set in Oxford. Classic meets new, young meets old – it’s all in there. Great characters and good drama.


Additional Adventures to Take

A smattering from the rest of my viewing pleasure. Great characters, far away lands, imagination and whimsy!



File Under: Wally Pfisters and Tarsem Singh’s Love Child

Recommended If You Like: Thomas Harris, Thomas Harris and Thomas Harris

I can’t say enough about this show. The art direction, the cinematography plus a killer cast lead by Mads Mikkelsen


Almost Human

File Under: 

Recommended If You Like: The next big thing, Terminators gone good,

Sci-fi shows are a tough nut to crack but this show has been great for the first 6 episodes. Since the completion of Fringe, there really hasn’t been a great sic-fi show. I think Almost Human could fill those shoes. Sure it’s still finding it’s legs but the ride so far has been entertaining.


Walking Dead

File Under: End of the mad world and I feel fine

Recommended If You Like: The footsteps of George Romero,

Don’t call it a zombie show! It’s a show about the best and worse of the human condition.


Top of The Lake

File Under: Peggy Post Mad Men

Recommended If You Like: New Zealand Sundance Channel, Holly Hunter’s accent, IFC

Top of the Lake is a slow burn and the first ever series to screen at Sundance. A mysterious pregnancy from a 12 yr old girl, shady characters and an outsider detective (Elizabeth Moss) bring  this series to life. Created, written and directed by Jane Campion (The Piano, Portrait of a Lady).


House of Cards

File Under: Inconceivable

Recommended If You Like: Love/Hating Kevin Spacey, Dark and Stormy DC.

I consumed this whole season in a week when it first came out. This multi-Emmy award winning series has thrown the idea of TV on it’s head. David Fincher made DC look despair laden and powerful in a way that sucks the life from the West Wing.



File Under: Dramatic Family Time

Recommended If You Like: Hugs and crying

I really dig this show. It can be hokey, sappy, and simple but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.


Things to think about when watching:

  • Define the hero and the villain.
  • Is there a character caught in grey areas?
  • What conventions are being used so that you’ll fill in the blanks and be drawn further in?
  • What story dynamics are involved to keep you from jumping to conclusions about any character?
  • How can these conventions and story tropes be used to help your marketing/branding/story creation process?

When I got the call from the United Way of Los Angeles, they were frustrated and worried about the steady decline of their fundraising dollars over the last several years. Even with a lot of hard work on their part, it wasn’t getting any better.

Their executives knew that everything wasn’t right but they couldn’t put a finger on what the exact problem was. They knew that their social media and digital impression needed help but didn’t know where to start with getting their story out to a wider audience

I immediately evaluated their situation, developed a new strategy and created a campaign to bring in over 60 Million Dollars in the following 12 months. All of their key goals were achieved and the new strategy brought new life into the office as well as the interactions they had with long-time donors.

In the past 5 years I’ve helped non-profits raise over 120 Million dollars. In many cases turning around organizations that have been in steep decline. I’ve also helped discover entirely new audiences that were easily cultivated into new donors.

And now I’m putting together something brand new that can help you do the exact same thing.

  • After working with so many non-profits, I’ve noticed the same problems keep showing up over and over.
  • Lack of understanding their core audience
  • No plan to grow their primary and secondary audiences
  • No time to coordinate effective campaigns
  • No digital marketing strategy to capitalize on social media, blogging and other tools

But here’s the good news, I can help you with all of these problems

I love working with non-profits and helping them connect with donors and raise more money. I’ve coached many of them to work through these and many more roadblocks that exist in reaching their goals.

In fact, let me share two quick ways I have helped a non-profit recently.

First, I helped them focus on the reason they started working at a non-profit to begin with. They wanted to gather people together to change the world, not beat their audience over the head with appeal letter after appeal letter.

Second, I helped them clarify and understand what action they would like their audience to take. Is it to give a donation? If so, how much? Did they want them to join their monthly donor group? What is the process of behavior they’d like their donors to go through?

Once you have these two things established, now you can make some progress!

Here’s my question to you. Are you ready to stop begging people for money and start inspiring change? Are you ready to have a plan that will connect and engage your donors?

I’m working on a new project that will help you, for the first time, actually accomplish these goals.

It’s the Non-Profit Story System and I’m making it available to just 10 organizations today. Keep reading to learn more.

Since the release of my book, The Non-Profit Narrative, I’ve been working on new ideas to help non-profits be successful in their funding campaigns. I used the book to share the frame work of story based fundraising that helps development teams succeed, but I want to go deeper. This opportunity is right for you if:

  • You’ve been frustrated trying to connect to your audience.
  • You’re active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc but can’t get them all converting consistently.
  • You’re experiencing a steady decline in funds.
  • You’re consistently putting out fires and launching last minute appeals.
  • Building your communication system is overwhelming.

I’m putting together the Non-Profit Story System that combines what I’ve learned through building campaigns from scratch and successfully launching all types of funding campaigns – from under 100K to tens of millions of dollars.

In the Non-Profit Story System you’ll find:

  • How the Narrative Story Framework applies to your non-profit.
  • How to acquire and cultivate an audience while telling a compelling story.
  • Strategy to determine Your Best Audiences
  • The Top 3 Storytelling Principals
  • The Step-by-Step guide to Audit and Assess Your Social Media Presence – Turn the Social “Me” to a Social “We”.
  • How to Execute Your “Why” in Your Communications – The “Why” is the most important piece and will inspire your audience to action and support.
  • Ideas to help your team know what needs to be adjusted to transform your current site into a cultivation and acquisition tool.
  • How to Create a System to Measure Success (Key Performance Indicators)
  • The guide to determine your primary and secondary audiences and define the Ideal Behavior for them – Defining what you need will help staff and audiences know what they’re being asked to do.


Here’s a few things people have said after reading just the content in my book:

“If you work for a nonprofit or are on the board of a nonprofit, buy this book.” Ken Mueller

“This is a fantastic book for non-profits and for-profits alike…storytelling is the best to connect with your supporters and customers and Dan’s book offers a simple, step to step guide on how to achieve storytelling success. I highly recommend it.” Kat Krieger

“You should buy a copy of The Non-Profit Narrative for yourself and everyone that you know that works at a non-profit.” Tim Grahl

If that’s what people learn just from reading the book, imagine what you’ll learn during this in-depth video course.

How is the course going to actually work?

  • Long term access. I’ll be releasing the content as I build it, but you’ll have access to go through it at your own pace.
  • Strategy then How-tos. Each section will end with homework… exactly what you can do now to start putting the ideas into practice.
  • Live Webinars. I will do at least two live webinars that will be heavily Q&A so you can ask questions as we go.
  • Learn on the go. Each session will be available in video and mp3. It will also be mobile optimized for any of your devices.
  • 6 weeks of training. The course will officially start the first week of the year and then run for 6 weeks with new content available each week.

What’s the investment?

I normally sell coaching at $500 per hour.

When this course is done, I’ll be selling it for at least $500.

However, I’m looking for 10 people to be a part of this course as I build it. Not only will you get a huge discount, but you’ll get to provide ongoing input on what goes into the final course and ask your questions along the way.

I’m opening the pre-sale of the Non-Profit Story System to just 10 people for $247. As soon as the ten spots are sold, it’ll close and not be available until after the course is built.

Here’s what you need to do to secure your discounted spot:


  • Enter the coupon code PREORDER to get the discounted price (case sensitive)


If you have any questions, feel free to hit reply to this email and ask. I’m happy to answer them.

I can’t wait to help you build your platform and raise more money in 2014!

How to Write the Perfect Opening Sentence



The beginning of any project, a book or your next campaign, needs to start well. If you’d like a master class… look at the works of Charles Dickens. But as for advice – Stephen King knocks it out of the park.


Stephen King’s classic craft memoir On Writing addresses almost everything the master storyteller knows. But one key topic is not covered in that book: how to write a perfect opening sentence. King shared his thoughts, developed over many years of writing, on how books should start and why beginnings matter.

“A book won’t stand or fall on the very first line of prose — the story has got to be there, and that’s the real work. And yet a really good first line can do so much to establish that crucial sense of voice — it’s the first thing that acquaints you, that makes you eager, that starts to enlist you for the long haul. So there’s incredible power in it, when you say, come in here. You want to know about this. And someone begins to listen.”


Taken from ‘s article in the Atlantic. Read the rest of it here

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Buying the right gift for a marketing executive can be tough. So here’s a small suggestion- get Them The Non-Profit Narrative! As a help, the book is on sale at Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

Go Grab it today!

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How To Win Christmas


This years Holiday shopping season has been legendary already. And we’re not at Thanksgiving.

The big guns are out. Reports of locations opening for record hours (Kmart is open for 41 hours straight) The camping out has already started at Phoenix area Best Buy’s.

There’s a lot happening and I know that panicked execs are under a time crunch (This holiday season is 5 days shorter than last year due to a late Thanksgiving) and their bonuses are up for grabs if they aren’t aggressive. The corporations are in this to make money and the masses are signing up in droves for discount deals and price breakers. Social commentary aside, it sounds like a match made in heaven. cause and effect. Done and done.

But I’d like to insert an alternative of a company that is playing by those same rules but their tactics are decidedly different. I’m not sure if that’s a reflection of their european sensibilities or its just such a drastic change from what we’re being bombarded with here in America.

I humbly submit “The Bear and the Hare” by John Lewis. A new commercial for a campaign, complete with backstory. A mix media story that nods to the Rankin/Bass cartoons of our youth but at the same time modern and lush with all the things we require for a good campaign.

Take a great song from Keane and have Lilly Allen cover it with some Christmas sheen and you’re off!

The process of making this commercial is as compelling as the spot itself. In some ways, may be more so. My mouth was agape as I watched the old school techniques blending with new technologies. Take a look.

The campaign has multi-channel, multi-platform appeal too. Social media characters to encourage engagement and give further proof of the story world they’ve created.


All complete with a hashtag to track interaction #bearandhare


Also digitally there’s an iPad app to explore the world further, games for kids to get involved with the brand and move quick. The app is free but only available in the UK.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 11.24.31 AM

Additionally the lines of digital and the inshore experience are completely blurred. This is really the most brilliant piece of it. There’s a digital card maker and you can explore the bear’s cave with lavish displays, additional merchandise all supporting the new brand.

Plus you can buy the Lilly Allen single from the commercial.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 11.30.58 AM

This commercial and campaign was not cheap. Initial reports say the price tag was £7?Million. However, as a result of such a compelling world, the hiring of experts and providing multiple channels for expression – sales are up £101.45?million, 10.7 per cent up on 2012. See the full article here.


  • Don’t be afraid to dream big.
  • Make sure your use your strengths. For John Lewis it was multi channels experience, foot traffic and current audience.
  • Gather talented people behind a great vision.
  • Invest!
  • The multi channel experience should be seamless.
  • Create an experience with your brand. The Bear and The Hare is a new classic for John Lewis and will probably mean additional chapters in the future. The money has spoken.

This sounds a whole lot better than suiting your business in a race to the bottom with door busters. What say you?