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John Lewis Christmas ad celebrates community during pandemic

By Huw Hughes

13 Nov 2020

John Lewis is the latest UK retailer to reveal a Christmas advert campaign, with the company this year drawing inspiration from the kindness and togetherness shown by the British public during the pandemic.

The two-minute advert, created by advertising agency adam&eveDDB, features a mixture of different forms of moving art - from animation and claymation to CGI and cinematography - created by eight different artists including Chris Hopewell, who has created music videos for Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand, and French animator Sylvain Chomet.

The scenes are connected to create a long “chain of giving”, with the campaign’s heart emblem passed from scene to scene, emphasising how “acts of kindness, large and small, can multiply and positively impact the world in which we live as we pass them on to others.”

The advert is part of a larger campaign by John Lewis encouraging the public to help raise 4 million pounds for two charities which help those most affected by the pandemic, Home-Start and FareShare.

Customer donations up to the value of 2 million pounds will be matched by a donation from the John Lewis Partnership. A further fund of over 1 million pounds has also been created “to ensure all of the retailers’ shops will be actively partnering with FareShare and Home-Start and a range of local family charities in the communities they serve”.

The charities will use the donations to provide food, comfort, emotional support and advice to at least 100,000 families in need.

A positive message against a difficult retail backdrop

The advert comes amid challenging times for UK retailers as they face the second lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic. John Lewis itself has in recent months announced the closure of eight stores and thousands of job cuts as part of its new five-year plan to return to sustainable profits by 2025.

“We were humbled by the kindness shown by the British public during the pandemic. We want this campaign to be uplifting and to inspire everyone to give some kindness in their own way this Christmas, especially to those who need it most,” Pippa Wicks, executive director of John Lewis, said in a statement.

“The pandemic has proved that it’s our small acts of love and kindness, particularly in challenging times, that captures what it is to be human; and when one small act of kindness multiplies it can have a lasting impact.”

Photo credit: John Lewis