In celebration of the fast approaching Christmas season, we’ve been doing some digging on the forgotten Christmas adverts of years gone by.
In particular, we are taking a look at John Lewis, who have emerged in recent years as the king of Christmas adverts, keeping marketers – and the public – keen to see what they can come up with each year. We’ve found 9 years worth of adverts from the John Lewis festive vault – how many of these do you remember?
Firstly, this advert was the first made for John Lewis by agency ‘Adam & Eve’. Set to a cover of Guns N Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, it depicts children opening gifts intended for adults and delivers the question ‘Remember how Christmas used to feel?’. This campaign cost £5 million.
Secondly, the cover of Elton Johns’ ‘Your Song’ for John Lewis’ 2010 ad was a big hit for then up-and-coming singer Ellie Goulding and it reached number 2 in the UK singles chart that year. The heartwarming advert features various clips of people wrapping presents for their friends and family; including a scene depicting parents sneaking presents into the house without their children noticing.
2011: The Long Wait –
The first of John Lewis’ big, blockbuster ads, The Long Wait portrays a young boy counting down to the day he can give his parents their Christmas present. With the message ‘For gifts you can’t wait to give’; this advert was hugely popular and had been viewed over 1 million times online within days of its release.
2012: The Journey –
2012’s advert ‘celebrates the extra mile we all go to at Christmas to find the perfect gift’ and was the first in a series of John Lewis Christmas ads to not have humans as its main focus. Depicting a snowman; this advert is set to a haunting cover of ‘The Power of Love’ and delivers an overwhelming message of love. This advert was significantly successful; further to this, it accounted for an overall year-on-year sales increase of 44.3%, helping John Lewis reach over £800 million worth of sales.
2013: The Bear and the Hare –
Furthermore, the blockbuster-style, emotive narrative, The Bear and the Hare is an animated production. It was highly anticipated with rumours as well as having sneak previews released in the lead up to its full reveal. Featuring a cover of Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ by Lily Allen, it became John Lewis’ most popular campaign.
2014: Monty the Penguin –
Part of a £7 million campaign which aimed to evoke the ‘magic of make believe’. It features Tom Odell’s cover of ‘Real Love’ and tells the story of a friendship between a young boy and his penguin friend. The ad achieved 151,000 mentions on Twitter in it’s opening weekend.
2015: #ManOnTheMoon –
John Lewis teamed up with charity Age UK for this advert which depicted a lonely, elderly man. This highly emotional spot cost £7 million in total and Norwegian singer Aurora’s cover of Oasis’ ‘Half The World Away’ was the music.
2016: #BustertheBoxer –
This year’s advert takes a more light hearted, humorous approach, featuring a dog – Boxer – who is just as pleased on Christmas morning as his owner. Furthermore, shared more times in its first hour of release than any other John Lewis Christmas adverts; this ranked as one of the highest Christmas adverts to date, as the ratings were higher than any other in their first 24 hours. It is part of a campaign which includes a Snapchat filter and Twitter stickers which has never been used before.
This John Lewis Christmas advert debunked the myth that children must be fearful of the monster under the bed; as a child develops a close bond with a friendly imaginary monster Moz who takes refuge in his room. The campaign demonstrates the purity of childhood friendship; set to the a cover of the Beatles song “Golden Slumbers” by band Elbow.
The firm’s 2018 offering featured its first celebrity star, courtesy of Sir Elton John. Set to his performance of “Your Song”, his major 1971 breakthrough hit; the advert provides a stirring insight into the potential after-effects the perfect gift can have on the trajectory of a person’s life.
Lastly, together with Waitrose & Partners, John Lewis share the festive tale of a little girl and her excitable friend, Edgar. Dan Smith from Bastille will be the song for this years recording to “Can’t Fight This Feeling”; filmed in Budapest with an extra cast of around 100 people.