The John Lewis Christmas advert has become as much a part of the run up to the 25th of December as the Coca Cola “Holidays are coming” advert and the latter stages of the X Factor. Such an event it has become that teasers for this year’s ad, showing a bear fast asleep, have been popping up in virtually every break on ITV, complete with the now obligatory twitter hashtag (this one being #sleepingbear, of course).
The advert gets its TV premiere tomorrow night on ITV, during one of the X Factor ad breaks. It’s said that the whole of that particular ad break (around 8:10pm) will be taken up by it – yes people, it’s that big a TV event. But if you can’t wait for it, or just don’t want to watch XF to catch it, John Lewis has already put the full advert up online. And it is pretty special. The company have clearly pulled out all the stops for this, hiring animators who have worked for Disney to create the tale of The Bear and The Hare. The style of the animation reminds me a lot of Watership Down and The Animals of Farthing Wood, which is a very good thing. To top it all off, it is soundtracked by a version of Keane’s classic anthem Somewhere Only We Know performed by Lily Allen which, I have to admit, I am not entirely sure about. I guess it is because I know and love the original so much, but fair play to her for giving it a bash anyway.
Most of all, the advert captures the spirit of Christmas perfectly. The cynics and Scrooges of social media will no doubt maul it and take the mick out of it (and some already have), but you know what? Screw them. This is one of the loveliest things I have seen for some time and if your heart isn’t the slightest bit warmed by it, then you probably don’t have one.
Yes I am a softie and I am not ashamed.