John Lewis unveils 2021 Christmas advert

The parent company of Waitrose, The John Lewis Partnership, has released its highly-anticipated Christmas advert.

The advert is a return to form for the retailer as it attempts to tap in to customer enthusiasm for a traditional Christmas season after last year’s muted celebrations amid pre-vaccination Covid.

Titled “Unexpected Guest”, the two-minute ad stars space traveller Skye crash-landing at the height of festivities in the woods near the home of 14-year-old Nathan, who introduces her to the traditions of eating mince pies, decorating the tree and, to her slight confusion, wearing novelty jumpers.

The release of the ad is around a fortnight earlier than usual and comes as the retailer revealed Christmas-related searches on its website are up 50 per cent on this time last year.

The ad was created with agency adam&eveDDB, with John Lewis refusing to reveal a budget but saying it was in line with previous years’ spending.

READ MORE: John Lewis Partnership signs eco-friendly £420m loan

The ad first aired at 8.15pm on Thursday on ITV during The Pride of Britain Awards after launching at 6.30am for members of the ‘My John Lewis’ loyalty scheme via email access and from 8am on the retailer’s website and social media channels.

The ad was created with agency adam&eveDDB, with John Lewis refusing to reveal a budget but saying it was in line with previous years’ spending.

“There is nothing more magical than discovering the joy of Christmas for the first time and enjoying your favourite festive moments with loved ones,” John Lewis customer director Claire Pointon said.

“After the last 18 months, we wanted our advert to really celebrate this as we look forward to a brighter future.

“We know our customers are excited for this festive season more than ever, as they reconnect with family and friends. Through the story of Skye and Nathan we celebrate friendship and are reminded of the joy of experiencing Christmas for the first time.”

Shoppers can buy a version of the Christmas jumper that Nathan gives Skye, minus the added lights in the ad’s version, in a nod to environmental sustainability, for between £14 and £29 depending on size, with 10 per cent of the profits going to the charities FareShare and Home-Start UK.

The campaign comes after the retailer “deviated slightly” last year from the style of previous adverts due to the backdrop of Covid-19 with nine different vignettes showing acts of kindness.

It also follows, just last month, the retailer being forced to pull a home insurance ad featuring a boy wilfully destroying his home after the Financial Conduct Authority found it could potentially confuse customers about the extent of the cover provided.

The partnership, which operates the John Lewis department store chain and Waitrose supermarket arm, unveiled a £29 million pre-tax loss for the half-year to July 31, representing a significant improvement from the £635 million loss it posted for the same period last year.

with PA Wires

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