We mentioned the oddly specific success that the Christmas TV ad for the John Lewis chain has had, and its effect on people flipping night lights on eBay. But one cartoonist has seen a very different side of the story. Chris Riddel is the author of Mr Underbed, published several years ago, which looks very, very familiar.
It followed a familiar plot.
With very similar designs.
Or certainly Chris Riddell seemed to think so.
Tweeting out this video:
John Lewis helps themselves to my picture book. https://t.co/mrVHmalTwh
— chris riddell (@chrisriddell50) November 16, 2017
Riddell made the dry comment “In this age of shrinking publicity budgets it is very generous of John Lewis to devote their Christmas advertising campaign to my 1986 picture book- available in this 2009 edition from Andersen press.”
He also told the Guardian newspaper
“The idea of a monster under the bed is by no means new but the ad does seem to bear a close resemblance to my creation – a big blue unthreatening monster who rocks the bed and snores loudly. Needless to say, I think Mr Underbed is a lot more appealing than Moz, but of course, I’m biased. I’ll be fascinated to hear John Lewis’ thoughts on the matter.”
Well John Lewis thoughts are;
‘The story of a big hairy monster under the bed which keeps a child from sleeping is a universal tale which has been told many times over many year. Ours is a Christmas story of friendship and fun between Joe and Moz The Monster, in which Joe receives a night light which helps him get a good night’s sleep. The main thrust of our story is utterly different to Chris Riddell’s.”
John Lewis’ £7million marketing blitz also includes a £20 Moz cuddly monster, clothes, mugs, children’s book and a tie-up with Sky and Google – their Monty the Penguin’ campaign from 2014 made £2.5million in soft toy sales alone.
But could the ad campaign have a similar effect on the sales of the book as it has on star night lights? Possibly, it’s already the 10th bestseller in children’s books about bedtime and dreams…
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