Why we love the John Lewis Christmas ads

Why do we love the John Lewis Christmas ads so much? For me, it’s the music as well as the general schmaltz which I’m prepared to tolerate at Christmas. The Telegraph has handily put together this round up of John Lewis Christmas ads since 2007 when the retailer put out its first spot shot especially for the biggest shopping spree of the year.

2016 John Lewis Christmas ad

John Lewis 2016 Christmas ad with Buster

The Telegraph tells us that it was in 2009 that John Lewis’ ad agency first got a contemporary artist to sing an iconic song and it’s this tradition, more than any other, which makes the ad for me each year.

In 2009 it was a version of Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine but I have to say my favourite tune was Lily Allen’s version of Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know in 2013 over the bear and the hare animation. For tear-jerk value and the overall storyline my favourite film is the 2011 Christmas ad The Long Wait, in which a boy cannot wait for Christmas morning just so that… he can give his parents the present he’s got them (the details of how he got the present remain unclear).

It’s a great legacy of work for John Lewis and its ad agency Adam & Eve DDB. I’ve joked in the past about changing my bio to ‘John Lewis target audience’ but, even so, these Christmas ads work so well with a classic song and a touching story that they’re impossible to resist. Now all I want to know is how the agency got all those animals to bounce on the 2016 trampoline together. Presumably the footage is edited and the badger didn’t actually feature at the same time as the two foxes? Answers on a postcard or in the comments box.

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Meerkat research

Meerkat Aleksandr Orlov

In the interest of feeding back to the media industry some of what real people think about their work, I offer this apercu.

I have just entertained two family members to three nights free B&B including evening meal (family maxim: house guests are like fish – they stink after the third day) and we fell, as you do, to talking about TV adverts. This was about 22.20 last night when, frankly, we’d run out of anything and everything else to talk about.

And so it came out that my father absolutely loves the comparethemeerkat.com ads. You know, the ones promoting comparethemarket.com with a Borat-inspired meerkat. Simples. He also loves the ‘Should’ve gone to SpecSavers’ one with the elderly couple getting an unexpected roller coaster ride when they thought they’d just sat down for a sandwich. He’s already laughing, he says, when the advert starts and doesn’t even know what brand it’s advertising because he’s waiting for the punchline: “What sort of cheese was that?”

He doesn’t get out much, see?

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