A History of the John Lewis Christmas Advert
Since 2007, the John Lewis Christmas advert has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon in the United Kingdom. Each year, people eagerly anticipate the release of the latest heartwarming and emotionally charged ad from this high-end British department store. The John Lewis Christmas ad has not only become a signifier of the holiday season, but it also showcases the power of advertising to create a lasting impact on consumers. Let’s take a look at the history and evolution of this iconic Christmas campaign.
The first John Lewis Christmas advert, titled “Shadow,” was launched in 2007. This charming ad featured a group of people opening their Christmas gifts, with a twist: as they opened their presents, their shadows revealed the true meaning of the gifts they received. The ad captured the imagination of the British public and set the tone for future John Lewis Christmas campaigns by focusing on the emotional aspect of gift-giving.
In 2009, John Lewis introduced its most iconic Christmas character: the lovable and endearing penguin named Monty. The ad, titled “Monty the Penguin,” follows the story of a young boy named Sam and his best friend, Monty, who is a toy penguin. Set to the soothing tones of Tom Odell’s cover of John Lennon’s “Real Love,” the advert tells the heartwarming tale of friendship and the magic of Christmas. This ad became a major hit, generating millions of views on YouTube and capturing the hearts of viewers across the nation.
Over the years, John Lewis continued to release emotionally charged Christmas ads that brought tears to the eyes of many. In 2013, the ad “The Bear & The Hare” embraced a traditional hand-drawn animation style, which resonated with audiences who longed for a touch of nostalgia during the holiday season. The heartwarming story depicted a bear who had never experienced Christmas because he hibernated during the winter. The hare, with the help of his fellow woodland creatures, decides to give the bear the gift of a Christmas he will never forget. This sentimental ad struck a chord with viewers and further cemented the John Lewis Christmas campaign as an annual event to look forward to.
However, not all John Lewis Christmas ads have been met with universal praise. In 2015, the department store released an ad titled “Man on the Moon.” Although the advert aimed to raise awareness about loneliness among the elderly, it received mixed reactions from the public. While many appreciated the message, others felt that the tone was too somber for a Christmas advert. Nevertheless, the controversy surrounding the ad sparked conversations about important social issues, and it showcased the power of advertising to create a meaningful impact on society as a whole.
In recent years, the John Lewis Christmas adverts have become highly anticipated events, with people speculating about the theme, music, and overall message months in advance. The department store has continued its tradition of evoking strong emotions through storytelling and memorable characters. The 2018 ad, titled “The Boy & The Piano,” featured a montage of Elton John’s life as it rewound through time, with the tagline “Some gifts are more than just a gift.” The ad wonderfully captured the magic of a meaningful gift and how it can shape a person’s life. Likewise, the 2019 ad, titled “Excitable Edgar,” depicted the story of a lovable dragon who struggles to control his fiery breath but eventually helps create a heartwarming Christmas celebration for his village.
In conclusion, the John Lewis Christmas advert has become a cherished part of the holiday season in the UK. With their emotional storytelling and memorable characters, these adverts have touched the hearts of millions and sparked conversations about the true meaning of Christmas. Although not every ad has been met with unanimous praise, the annual anticipation and excitement surrounding the John Lewis Christmas advert campaign demonstrate the power of advertising to connect with audiences on an emotional level. As the years go by, it will be fascinating to see how John Lewis continues to captivate and move us with their holiday campaigns.