The yuletide traditions of choosing a tree that will last, ensuring you have enough mulled wine for the day, and settling down to enjoy the John Lewis commercial all tie hand-in-hand with the run up to Christmas.
With their last campaign featuring a downtrodden man on the moon, the rumours spread that the company were set to change their theme and lighten the mood this year, and their new advert does just that.
Although one certainly questions how a pair of feral foxes learnt to use a trampoline, let alone whether or not a hedgehog can jump, the brand is already seeing success from the heart-warming tale of Buster the boxer.
Over the years, the advert, which has come to be recognised as a major event within the festive season, has continually set somewhat of a benchmark for John Lewis; however, with Social Mention showing a sentiment rating of 27:1 for “bustertheboxer” within twelve hours of its release, the commercial reminds us all of the importance of an effective campaign. The CGI itself is thrilling, and, although it should be since the commercial was granted a £1m budget, it helps to grip our attention as we see the story evolve.
We watch Christmas Eve unfold as a father labours away amidst the frost and fog while his daughter eagerly anticipates the arrival of her present. At last, away from the previous the heartbreak of Percy the penguin and the friendless old man, John Lewis seems to have pointed towards Christmas with the right intention.
One of these intentions is obviously to compel us to spend money on the advert’s woodland-themed product range. Not wasting any time, the upmarket department store has already released wellington boots and plush toy animals, but this perhaps works to back up their motive behind the advert; 10% of proceeds from the toy range will be donated to the Wildlife Trust. And, though the advert may leave some children pining for a new puppy or begging their parents for a trampoline that they can’t afford, it speaks to the public to buy a gift “that everyone will love”.
Either way, with the nation left quivering in the wake of the US Election, John Lewis had to pull something uplifting out of their Christmas sac, and Buster the dog is exactly the surprise we needed.
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Author: George Burton
George is studying English Literature at the University of Exeter. He is an adaptable, scriptwriting enthusiast with experience in marketing and the entertainment production industry. George is currently working as an intern within our creative team.