Finally, after a long wait, this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert has at last appeared. Year on year, anticipation for what is now a staple of Christmas television has continued to grow – and this year has been no exception. In fact, the buzz around this year’s ad has been twice as intense due to the release of teaser trailers over the days before the full advert was revealed. So now that the day has finally arrived, has it lived up to the hype?
This year’s John Lewis advert, in case you haven’t seen it already, features a dog named Buster and the family he lives with on, presumably, Christmas Eve. While a little girl excitedly bounces on her bed, before settling to sleep, her father struggles to set up her gift; a trampoline. That night as she sleeps, the trampoline is commandeered by an unlikely group of animal friends, while Buster can only watch jealously from the living room. Then, at last, Christmas morning arrives and Buster gets his chance to bounce on the trampoline, much to the surprise of his owners and the delight of viewers everywhere!
The advert is silly, sweet and lighthearted; a welcome change from last year’s emotional ‘Man on the Moon’ theme, or the (arguably) overly sentimental campaigns that preceded that. For what is essentially quite a simple idea, this advert is actually quite a brave change from the winning formula we’ve come to expect of John Lewis, a change which, I feel, is really to the benefit of the ad. In what’s been a difficult and complicated year, an advert with the simple goal of making people smile this Christmas was what we all need – and John Lewis has certainly achieved its goal in this respect. In celebration of this latest ad from John Lewis, we’ve taken a retrospective look at some of our previous favourites from the brand:
The 2016 Ad
This being a particularly special year, marking 5 whole years of John Lewis Christmas Adverts, we’ve also taking a retrospective look over some of our previous favourites:
The Man on the Moon – 2015
Last year’s collaboration with Age UK, featuring a young girl trying to get a gift to the elderly man she discovered on the moon, remains memorable for broaching the serious issue of elderly isolation during the holiday season. A controversial turn from John Lewis, some people found this piece a touch too depressing for a proper John Lewis Christmas ad, but when you hear that one million elderly people in the UK can go a month without speaking to another person, can you blame John Lewis for using their audience as a platform?
Monty the Penguin – 2014
The 2014 advert gave us a little boy giving his best friend (a toy penguin) the gift of true love. This advert was funny, cute, and heartwarming and reminded us of the magic of being a child at Christmas and truly believing your toys were alive. Sure, it’s a bit overly sweet, but when else can you be sentimental if not at Christmas?
The Long Wait – 2011
The 2011 effort is what transformed the John Lewis ad from just another advert, into a staple of the holiday season, and still remains a firm favourite for many. We see a little boy, counting down the days until Christmas, all set to a lovely rendition of “Please, please, let me get what I want”. It’s a familiar scene for all of us but with a charmingly unfamiliar end; watching him leap out of bed Christmas Day, ignore his own presents, all in a rush to give his gift to his parents is a scene sure to melt even the hardest heart.