Ever wondered why you always feel the urge to cry into your eggnog while tuned into John Lewis’ Christmas adverts? Believe it or not, the annual tradition started in 2007 and the first of their acoustic tearjerker cover songs was in 2009.
They have become almost as traditional as the Coca Cola advert, visit to Santa’s Grotto or seeing mince pies on the supermarket shelves in August, with millions of us waiting to see what they have dreamed up this year.
We have created a top 5 countdown of the public’s favourite installments to really get you in the festive spirit for Christmas, before you delve into our thoughtful Christmas hamper gift idea roundup.
5. The Bear and the Hare (2013)
The small scene shows the bear, a miserable and gloomy character, make an appearance at a Christmas celebration full of dozens of different animals preparing the immense tree for the annual festival. The rabbit had dragged his best friend along in hope of discovering his inner festive spirit and revive him of his era of despondency. But it didn’t work.
So the bear dismally sashayed back to his cave of woe and began to rest once again in preparation for the seasonal hunt ahead. A year went by and the rabbit returned with the perfect gift for the bear – an alarm clock. As the other animals continued their merrymaking, the no longer independent bear ascended over the snowy terrain, the rabbit saw him and beaming smiles surrounded the bear as he joined the celebrations. Everyone was happy…
The approximate budget for the advert was a staggering £1,000,000. This included the amount of work that went into it, the people they hired and the campaign to outreach the advert.
Lily Allen – Somewhere Only We Know (a cover of Keane’s original song)
November 8th 2013
4. Buster the Boxer (2016)
What is the perfect present that everyone will love? Simply a trampoline. In this almost humorous commercial a lonesome boxer dog named Buster became envious of the foxes, badgers, squirrels and hedgehogs who were all leaping boisterously on a new bought gift – the trampoline.
The next day as the crisp climate of Christmas cockcrow awoke the family, the little girl seemed eternally thankful for the gift, but as the doors were open and Buster was set loose, he was the one who seemed obliged as he imitated the animals from the night before.
The price for this advert was once again approximately £1,000,000, however they invested a further £6,000,000 into the advertisements for it to be shown on TV.
One Day I’ll Fly Away – Vaults (originally by Randy Crawford)
November 9th 2016
3. The Long Wait (2011)
This was a game changer in the world of Christmas advertisements because it invoked so much emotion. John Lewis’ competition were left behind as they reversed the typical convention of children only wanting gifts, not giving them. Anticipation increased as the boy continuously studied the clock, impatiently waiting for Christmas to arrive.
Once the day arrived, the boy woke up at the break of dawn and disrupted his parents slumber. At this point, the impression the whole video had given us was that the boy couldn’t wait to open his presents, however this was not the case as he pulled out a gift for his parents as the video finished with the sentence ‘For gifts you can’t wait to give’. I bet you weren’t expecting that.
The budget was slightly under the usual budget at about £800,000 with a similar £6,000,000 outreach campaign.
Slow Moving Millie – Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want (originally by The Smiths)
November 11th 2011
2. Monty The Penguin (2014)
This heart-warming video was a video which explored the imagination of a little boy, the directors literally brought a stuffed toy to life. It began with a boy who was best friends with a penguin, the more time he spent with him the quicker he realised that his best friend felt lonely and dreamed of love.
As it came to Christmas morning the boy covered his penguins eyes and surprised him with what he wanted. It ended with the sentence ‘Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of’.
Aurora – Half The World Away (a cover of Oasis’ original song)
November 9th 2016
1. Shadows (2007)
The original John Lewis Christmas advert was voted the best, possibly due to its wonderment from the surreal complexity of the creation. But it looked so simple? They used workers of John Lewis in an assembly line to combine an obscure mixture of products in a carefully balanced pile such as lava lamps, satchels, lamps and Mac computers which cast a shadow on the wall behind of a woman walking with a dog.
The final sentence concluded the first advert with ‘Whoever your looking for this Christmas’, implying they provide products suitable for everyone. The very imaginative concept definitely deserved its place at number one!
A reported £6 million in total.
Prokofiev: Rome & Juliet – Suite No.3, Op.101 – 5. Aubade” by Loris Tjeknavorian
November 7th 2007
The John Lewis 2018 Advert – Did it live up to the hype?
Not particularly. A lot of people were annoyed that it was very Elton John orientated, seemingly to promote his new movie ‘Rocketman’. However, people were pleased by the sentiment – it basically told us that some gifts you give can make an impact for years to come. Very apt in today’s throwaway society.