John Lewis Christmas ad says what we said it would – but with an excursion into animation

Here’s a bit of a surprise from John Lewis and agency Adam&Eve/DDB; an excursion into Bambi and Thumper Rabbit territory with an animated epic on the theme of ‘Give someone a Christmas they’ll never forget.’ A theme we predicted last week – a scoop I suppose, although it’s only an ad.

So we have a Disney-esque (but lonely) hibernating bear sharing the occasion with a rabbit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqWig2WARb0

Is this a cop-out or, as agency and client propose, a bold step into new territory?

Animation can often seem like the former because, as we know, agencies often resort to it when all other ideas fail. Not the fault of animation per se or the (highly skilled) animators, just how it goes.

But JL and A&E have given us quite a lot of ‘real life’ winsome relationships/rites of passage over the past few years and you can’t go on playing the same tune.

This has racked up three million hits on YouTube in a few days, so it’ll be trebles all round at JL HQ. Although that could say more about its appeal to soft-centred X-Factor viewers (where the ad first appeared) than JL’s target market. it won’t do A&E’s reputation as an agency that can produce the goods under pressure any harm either.

But…it’s not the Christmas KO the duo have delivered lately.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.