John Lewis' Christmas Advert 2020 is a charmingly animated ode to sharing kindness

An annual advertising tradition has returned: the John Lewis Christmas advertisement.

Technically, it's a combined ad for sister brands John Lewis and Waitrose and Partners, but long before their merger in 2019, retailer John Lewis had developed a reputation and expectation for iconic Christmas works like Monty the Penguin and Moz the Monster. Last year, John Lewis told the story of a dragon looking a little too excited for Christmas.

Will this year's edition – again from the London agency adam & eveDDB – live up to the annual expectations?

We let you decide for yourself. It's certainly a different approach for the retailer who this year doesn't tell a single story, but rather creates some kind of animated anthology with works by various artists. But the theme is one that is certainly universal in 2020: the importance of sharing kindness and love.

The 2-minute spot shows the work of eight artists, including Chris Hopewell, who created music videos for Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand, and French animator Sylvain Chomet.

The overarching vacation campaign aims to raise £ 4 million (about $ 5.2 million) for charity, with all profits from related merchandise pooled by the John Lewis Foundation. Another £ 1 million will be donated to local branches by two charities that help families in need, FareShare and Home-Start.

The spot was directed by Oscar Hudson, a rising star who was honored in the 2017 New Directors Showcase by Saatchi & Saatchi and who directed the Apple spot "Bounce" for AirPods 2019.

Animators who worked on the ad were Chris Hopewell, Andy Gent, Anthony Farquhar Smith, Sylvain Chomet, Anete Melece, MegaComputeur, Anna Mantzaris, and Shotopops.

The soundtrack is called "Give a Little Love" by the British singer Celeste.

A related 30-second ad animated by Kingston University graduate students Amelia Fowler, Marta Pinto, Leksey Lee and Bella McEvoy shows the charities benefiting from the campaign.

“We have a long history of helping the communities we serve. So if we bring one of our most popular assets, our Christmas display, to market it is appropriate to take that step further by working hand in hand with two incredible charities that need families to support, ”said Pippa Wicks, General Manager of John Lewis. “We were humbled by the friendliness of the British public during the pandemic. We want this campaign to be uplifting and inspire everyone to show something kind in their own way this Christmas, especially for those who need it most. "

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