British retailer John Lewis has debuted its hotly anticipated Christmas commercial, which is traditionally held up as the benchmark in festive advertising.
Titled Buster the Boxer, the advert tells the story of a young girl who wants a trampoline for Christmas – and the variety of wild animals, including foxes, badgers and squirrels, who get to bounce on it before the surprise is revealed. The family’s pet boxer dog is then shown as the first to enjoy the trampoline on Christmas morning, having watched his owner bouncing around the house.
It is set to the track One Day I’ll Fly Away by Vaults.
John Lewis will merchandise a line of soft toys, based on the dog that stars in its Christmas advert, with 10% of profits going to the Wildlife Trust.
And it will debut an immersive VR experience in selected stores, allowing consumers to explore the garden in which the advert is set and have their photo taken with the main character, Buster the boxer.
Its food and beverage offering this year includes gift food, wine and champagne and luxury hampers ranging from £35 to the most expensive and elaborate at £1,000. The John Lewis Christmas Treasures Chest hamper contains ten different bottles of hamper, as well as more than 40 biscuits, confections and preserves.
But the retailer also has added competition this year, after discounter Aldi announced that it would offer its own range of Christmas hampers, with the most expensive coming in at under £100.
John Lewis’ Christmas advert often heralds the start of the festive advertising period, with last year’s offering being a story of a girl who sends a gift of a telescope to a lonely man she discovers living on the moon one night. The retailer teamed up with Age UK to help elderly people living in isolation in the UK.
Rich history: John Lewis’ previous adverts
2015: Man on the Moon followed the relationship between a young girl and an old man, who she discovers living in isolation on the moon. When she buys him a telescope for Christmas, he’s able to look down to earth to see that someone is looking out for him. John Lewis teamed up with Age UK to help raise awareness of loneliness in the elderly, particularly at Christmas. The advert was set to Oasis’ Half the World Away, performed by Norwegian singer Aurora.
2014: The John Lewis advert, titled Monty the Penguin, stuck with the previous year’s animal theme: it followed one young boy who spots that his pet penguin Monty is pining for a mate. So the boy gifts Monty a female penguin, before it is revealed that both penguins are actually stuffed toys and the story took place in the boy’s imagination. The song was Real Love by Tom Odell.
2013: The Bear & The Hare was the animated story of a bear who had never seen Christmas, and his friend, the hare, who gifted him an alarm clock to wake him up in time for the big day. One of the most acclaimed, it featured the Keane song Somewhere Only We Know, sung by Lily Allen.
2012: Dubbed The Journey, it shows the adventure that a snowman goes on – through winds, across rivers and over mountains – to buy a new pair of gloves, scarf and hat for his snowman wife. The song was The Power of Love, performed by Gabrielle Aplin.
2011: The advert that first made John Lewis’ Christmas advertising famous follows a young boy as he waits with much frustration for Christmas to come round, seemingly so that he can unwrap his presents. But when the big day comes, he is seen rushing into his parents’ bedroom to give them the present he has bought for them, and closes with the line ‘for gifts you can’t wait to give’. The song was Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want by Slow Moving Millie.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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