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With the release of the new John Lewis Christmas advert, it feels like the countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun.

The advert, from Adam&EveDDB, is directed by Dougal Wilson and stars a little boy and his toy penguin, in a story of friendship and love at Christmas time. The two-minute promo, set to Tom Odell’s cover of John Lennon’s Real Love, has gone down a treat with everyone and anyone and bookies have already slashed Odell’s chances of scoring the Christmas No 1 this year.

The John Lewis Christmas advert has become a bit of a ‘thing’, since it began airing on our screens seven years ago. Expectation hangs on its arrival, and it has led to a general resurgence in quality among UK festive adverts, with other brands such as Marks & SpencerSainsbury’sTescoWaitrose and Debenhams all keen to get a slice of the attention. So how does this year’s effort fare?

Well, it’s a bit of an amalgamation of the brand’s previous adverts. Creating another saccharine cover of a classic song, the advert has define synergies with previous year’s efforts from Wilson and falls in line with last year’s bear and the hare, 2012’s snowman shopping trip, and 2011’s young boy Christmas countdown.

John Lewis CEO, Andy Street, defines their customers as “younger, more urban, more socially aware, they probably travel the world and have more liberal attitudes”. The John Lewis target market is the upper, middle class, most likely in their 30s and 40s and they are able to spend on quality clothing, furnishings and technologies for the whole family.

It is no coincidence that their largest penguin soft toy – sure to be on many a Christmas list this year – retails for a whopping £95! I think we can safely say that the story of Monty the Penguin was a well spent £7 million, and is sure to tug at the heart (and purse) strings of many a shopper over the coming months. John Lewis has made it very easy for us to be part of its Christmas ‘experience’.


Article originally written as part of Nuance & Fathom’s portfolio.

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