There used to be a time when the start of Christmas, for me, and perhaps most of the general public, meant seeing the Coca Cola Truck advert in all its festive glory. The music, Santa’s smiling face, the glowing lights, the ruby red notorious lorry rolling across the screen… It’s Christmas! It…was Christmas, until the John Lewis Christmas recipe came along ten years ago. It may have taken 10 years, but now, for me, Christmas starts with a John Lewis advert.
What does it take to cook up a John Lewis Christmas advert? And why has it perhaps, dare I say it, taken the crown from Coca Cola? It’s less about selling Christmas, Santa, piles of presents, mince pies, and snow…and more about telling a story. In every single John Lewis Christmas advert there is a story being told within it, which leaves behind something with whoever is watching it. Whether that’s leaving behind a jerk on the heart strings and initiating the opening of the flood gates, or making someone smile, or even take action and actually take a little more thought in choosing their Christmas gifts for that year. Either way, they have got the recipe down. There’s a pressure cooker to perform, too.
Here’s a summary of the kind of ingredients a John Lewis advert needs; some, all, or a dash of…
- A loveable and characterful animal (or monster) that is integral to the story
- A family, before and on Christmas Day
- A child who is friends with or attached to the animal or monster
- Gift giving and receiving
- Charitable cause
- A gift that you can conveniently buy in a John Lewis store
- None-Christmassy, but emotional and almost therapeutic background music
This list is not exhaustive and there are most definitely variants of it. So, how about a countdown of the last 10 years’ worth of John Lewis Christmas adverts? You’re dying to remember what they are, aren’t you? No need… here’s the full decade of John Lewis Christmas recipes…
From Me to You (2008)
Sweet Child o’ Mine (2009)
Your Song (2010)
The Long Wait (2011)
The Journey (2012)
The Bear and the Hare (2013)
Monty the Penguin (2014)
Man on the Moon (2015)
Buster the Boxer (2016)
Moz the Monster (2017)
Which one is your favourite? I must say, I will always love Monty the Penguin.
Emily Johnson – PR & Social Media Exec