John Lewis launches animated “Christmas they’ll never forget” ad

John Lewis has unveiled its hotly anticipated Christmas campaign that, for the first time, uses animation to demonstrate how to give someone a Christmas “they’ll never forget”. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqWig2WARb0

The ad features two characters, a bear and a hare, one of which has never seen Christmas. As the other woodland animals prepare for the big day, bear goes into hibernation, but is awoken by a present from hare that enables him to see his first Christmas.

Speaking at an event in London to unveil the ad, John Lewis marketing director Craig Inglis said it continues the theme of “thoughtful giving” but this year looks to tell the story of the brand in a “different, fresh and innovative way”. It uses a form of animation that has never been used in a UK TV ad before, combining hand-drawn 2D stop motion drawing with 3D sets.

“We are the home of Christmas and customers come to us to find the perfect gift. We want to connect with the customer by using an emotionally powerful story but using new creative approaches,” he added.

John Lewis has been teasing the ads with 10 second spots on ITV, tweets using the hashtag #sleepingbear and a projection on the South Bank in London. The full 2 minute ad launches today (8 November) on YouTube and the John Lewis website.

Inglis said the social media launch is about creating “conversation and intrigue” around the campaign, guiding people towards the TV launch during the X Factor on Saturday (9 November). For that, John Lewis has secured the first ever exclusive ad break during the X Factor, with a 3 minute break in the programme featuring the usual TalkTalk sponsorship, an introduction and outro from ITV and the ad.

“This year we wanted to raise the bar and launch our ads in a different way. This was a big deal, with ITV having to reschedule the whole evening. Simon Cowell even had to sign it off,” added Inglis.

The ad will also be projected on the South Bank at the same time. Plus John Lewis is planning in-store marketing using the same theme, with merchandise such as toy hares and bears on sale.

The campaign this year cost £7m, £6m of which went on production and media buying for TV, with the rest going on supporting media including press, online and cinema. Inglis said that despite the growing importance of social media, TV will remain John Lewis’ main focus.

“Social media and TV work hand in hand. We recognise that our social media users are closer to the brand and so we want to engage with them. But we’ll never drop TV. The ROI we get is significant and it drives conversations around the country,” he added.

The campaign was created by ad agency Adam&Eve/DDB and OMD Manning Gottlieb and features Lily Allen singing Keane’s 2004 track “Somewhere Only We Know”.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here