John Lewis changes tack at Christmas with an ad that’s right for these times

It’s a different kind of Christmas in the UK (and elsewhere) this year with lots of people struggling to make ends meet, let alone enjoy the festivities.

John Lewis and agency adam&eveDDB have set the benchmark for Christmas ad for more than a decade and, while many advertisers have tried to incorporate helping others in their Christmas marketing, JL, under CEO Sharon White’s direction, has gone the whole hog with a plea for kindness.

Specifically for children in care. It’s teamed with charities Action for Children and Who Cares? Scotland in a Building Happier Futures Programme and ‘the Beginner’ shows foster parents creating a bond with their new child. Eventually…

Takes its time but, in the end, not a dry eye in the house.

Feels right for the times.

MAA creative scale: 9.


The Guardian headline, over a piece by one Stuart Heritage, calls the ad the “most unapologetically depressing thing in human history.” Which seems a touch de trop even for the Guardian in one of its moods. Heritage, in what was presumably intended to be a funny piece, was actually referring to the music track, which is no great shakes. Sub-editors, who needs them? Maybe the Guardian..

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