Here it is, the eagerly-awaited Christmas ad by adam&eveDDB for John Lewis and sister operation Waitrose.
Every year we wonder if A&E is going to drop the ball as the annual campaign has become the event advertising of the year in the UK and other places too.
The world is different this year, of course. Covid had laid waste to the UK high street, while John Lewis has some self-inflicted wounds to heal too.
A&E isn’t quite the same agency with the departure of founders James Murphy and David Golding to set up New Commercial Arts and Craig Inglis, who’s overseen these epics for a decade, has left John Lewis.
Big companies need to be seen giving rather than taking even though they’re desperate for Christmas sales as they hope for light at the end of the current lockdown. So there’s tie-up with two charities here as part of JL’s “purpose-led” five-year strategy.
And it’s animation all round as shooting has been tricky although this cleverly combines different styles of animation with live action. Music is more important than ever and this, in a way, is a mini-opera opera with original music sung by Celeste. The music needs to be an ear worm for the ad to work.
Finished just the other week we’re told.
They haven’t dropped the ball, stayed the right side of schmaltzy and done a decent job for the charities (and Waitrose too which gets a supporting role.) The music holds these seemingly disparate elements together.
MAA creative scale: 8.