The John Lewis Christmas ad is probably bigger news in adland than the world at large these days (which seems to love Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot) but its first effort with Saatchi & Saatchi in place of adam&eveDDB is certainly a show-stopper.
Directed by the mighty Megaforce through RiffRaff, and featuring an original tune from Andrea Bocelli, no less, it featured a small boy (ever reliable for JL) and a Venus Flytrap called Snapper, something of a break with tradition.
JL customer director Charlotte Lock says: “We are a nation that loves the traditions of Christmas – from classic traditions like pantos and putting up the tree to evolving new ones like crafting our own presents and Zoom get-togethers. Many of us have our own unique festive traditions and that makes them even more special.”
Saatchi CCO Franki Goodwin says: “Taking on the John Lewis Christmas ad – no pressure, right? It has been quite the six months.
“But, honestly, having built a fully integrated campaign, and worked with the icons that are Megaforce and Bocelli to make a film that retains what is quintessential about a John Lewis Christmas ad, but evolves it into something perhaps a bit unexpected, wilder and funnier.
“I really do appreciate that pressure is a privilege – and making this has been a huge one.”
So what could possibly go wrong?
“Let your traditions grow” is one of those pretty meaningless lines supposedly informed by research (although Snapper does, alarmingly), that agencies and clients just love these days.
Doubtless there’ll be an X/Twitter storm with some people saying Snapper gives the nation’s children nightmares. If M&S could get into such trouble over a green and white paper hat that isn’t even in the commercial…
And what does it actually say about JL product (everybody else’s ad is stuffed full of product) although there are shorter social efforts doing this.
But it’s bold and brave and nicely realised. A decent effort from both parties.
MAA creative scale: 7.5.