The advertising event of the year happened this week – the unveiling of the John Lewis (and this year Waitrose) Christmas ad. Indulge me as I add to the hundreds of hot takes already out there. It’s good. It could have been very bad. There was a risk of oversentimentality, a return to the worst excesses of April when every advertiser was stressing they stood with you.
Not a sniff of the pandemic in the ad, however. Instead, a visually fantastical spot featuring hedgehogs and pigeons, and a request for one and all to ‘give a little love’ and a spot of cash to charity. Yes, it does encourage gifting to each other and to others less fortunate – it is Christmas after all and the retailer must try and make a profit as well as deliver on its purpose – but it side steps the very real risk of being mawkish.