John Lewis Christmas Advert 2011

Christmas is here.

The shops may have been full of seasonal gifts,  fake snow and giant tins of Quality Street for nearly two months now but, finally, Christmas is here.

Well, it will be in 6 weeks but one of the key-signifiers that the Yuletide season is already well underway is the brand new John Lewis Christmas Advert. In previous years, Coca Cola’s Christmas Adverts have always earmarked the beginning of the festive period but John Lewis have been making a concerted effort since just before 2008 to ensure that their advertising communications become the first door on our advent calendars.

This morning, I woke up early to watch the new advert which I had read would be screened online before airing tomorrow night during primetime on The X Factor. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning (how tiresomely tragic). Grabbing my phone, I scanned through my emails to find one entitled “JohnLewisRetail just uploaded a video”.

I clicked the link, pressed play and watched as 90 seconds of sickeningly sentimental drivel fawned and cooed and flattered before my eyes.

And I lapped it up.

Every second of it.

Here’s the press release to accompany the video:

“For gifts you can’t wait to give” There is something even more wonderful than receiving the perfect gift, and that is knowing you have found the perfect gift for someone you love. This year we have brought to life the feeling of excitement and anticipation you get when you have found that perfect gift for someone and cannot wait for Christmas day to arrive.

Our advert follows one little boy who is impatiently counting down to Christmas. We see him tapping his fingers, gazing out of the window, even trying to cast a spell on a clock to make time go faster, but to no avail. The track ‘Please, Please, Please let me get what I want’, was originally recorded by the Smiths, and has been rerecorded by emerging artist Slow Moving Millie.

Yes, the advert is too cutesy for its own good. Yes, it’s so sugary that viewers with diabetes probably shouldn’t watch it. And, yes, it is a carefully executed piece of dynamite engineered solely to evoke the kind of irrational emotional response that we don’t care to defend in anyway.

But I love it.

The advert was lovingly crafted by the geniuses at Adam&Eve London who have been the incumbent agency of the retails giant for a number of years now. They created the past few Christmas campaigns and have showed continuous progression with their adverts for John Lewis. Last years ad was based around the notion of ‘Those who care about showing they care” which, of course, ties in beautifully to this current proposition: “For gifts you can’t wait to give”.


I tweeted about this advert this morning as soon as I saw it and received a lovely reply from John Lewis almost immediately – a really lovely way to show customer loyalty and build communication through relationship marketing.


Here’s a behind the scenes look at this wonderful piece of magic.

From a strategic perspective, the idea of gifts we cannot wait to give is just beautiful. It’s such an incredibly strong theme that I believe lasts almost all of our lives.

I remember when I was almost 6 years old, I wasn’t sure what to get my Mum and Dad for Christmas and so I kept hold of my pocket money and gave it to them in my old blue-velcro wallet. I wrote a note inside explaining how much money there was and how much each that would equate to. I think the grand total was £6.48. My Mum ended up crying and my Dad had to explain that whilst they appreciated the gesture, I couldn’t really do that.

Nowadays, whether it’s a birthday or Christmas, I spend an awful lot of time looking for the perfect present – whether it’s handmade or shop-bought. It has to be perfect. Despite being almost 21 and at Uni, my parents have asked me to write a Christmas list for them and I’m really struggling. So far there are 4 things on it – one of which is simply “A Christmas dinner with everyone”. Boring, I know.

However, I’ve got a long list of things that I will be buying for other people. Details on what to wrap certain things in, where to buy particular gifts, how much it will cost, what to write on the card etc etc etc.

This Christmas advert from John Lewis perfectly encapsulates what Christmas is really about. For some people it’s still a religious festival, for others it’s a break from work and for children it’s a time of magic and wonder.

For all of us, however, it’s about sharing. With friends. With family. With strangers.

And now, I share this advert with you.

Merry Christmas.


5 thoughts on “John Lewis Christmas Advert 2011

  1. She started crying? Seriously you people should really get a life, there is no need for this kind of rubbish. I appreciate you may consider not approving this comment, but I thought it was only fair to present the other completely extreme side of the argument, who cries after watching a department store advert, do they honestly not have anything better to do? I wouldn’t want to see her response after watching Comic Relief, although that would probably go over her head (it’s over 90 seconds after all). Discuss….

    • @Sheena. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate how people are reacting very differently to this advert but please don’t lambaste other commenters for their alternative views. Part of me does side with you completely on this (as mentioned in the blog) as it is overly sweet and gushy, but some people – and there does seem to be something of a definite 50/50 split here – are reacting extremely positive to this piece of work.
      Again, thank you for offering an alternative and much needed view and I know that countless readers will side with you on this one. Cheers 🙂

  2. Thank you for any other informative site. The place else could I get that type of information written in such a perfect way? I’ve a undertaking that I am just now working on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such info.

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