Viewers Over the Moon for an out of This World John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015

By smei

Posted 06/11/15

Ever get that feeling that the retailer build up to Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year? From seeing Christmas cards in shops long before Halloween, to the very first festive TV advert reportedly being aired this year in August (Aldi’s advert for the August Bank Holiday was seen as suspiciously festive, with its cosy log cabin and low lighting). It seems that retailers have been gearing up for Christmas months in advance, and extending the festive excitement for as long as possible.

Brands have been following thick and fast these past few weeks in the rush to be the next to air their Christmas ad, with Asda’s “Because it’s Christmas” and Lidl’s “School of Christmas” among the first this month. But the one Christmas advert that tends to get people talking is John Lewis’ Christmas advert.

John Lewis has been responsible for making the nation cry with its moving Christmas stories for the past several years; with the little boy who just wants Christmas Day to arrive faster, the snowman who went to great lengths to find the perfect gift for his loved one, the spectacularly animated tale of the Bear and the Hare and their wish to spend the big day together, and last year’s tear jerking twist in the tale of two best friends – Sam giving Monty, the penguin, the gift he’d been dreaming of.

This year was reported to be no exception; with a national newspaper*1 warning viewers to prepare for the advert's unveiling armed with a box of tissues.

Shrouded in mystery and cloaked in festive magic, the launch of the new John Lewis campaign didn’t fail to generate a stir*2. Leading up to the release of the advert, viewers had only been treated with a 10 second teaser advert for the main advert, with a shot of the moon coming into focus and the hashtag #OnTheMoon appearing.

Social media has been rife with discussions following this reveal, and there had been some speculation as to whether this teaser could be for John Lewis, or maybe Marks & Spencer’s, but as one Twitter user commented “don't tell me I don't know my brand fonts"*3.

Although, rumours continued to abound about the content this year, and there has been plenty of discussion about which artist would be billed to cover the advert’s song, which since 2009 have all entered the top 40 music chart following its release*4.

Preparing for the big reveal today at 8am online, we can speculated as to what the advert could be about. Maybe it would be about the great feeling Christmas brings of giving the perfect gift that makes someone so happy they feel like they’re “on the moon”…. Or maybe someone just wants to get away from all the Christmas bombardment (which would fit with the chosen song’s lyrics “I would like to leave this city”)…Or maybe the moon feels left out of all the festive cheer happening on Earth…

But now, the countdown is over, and we couldn’t wait to see what John Lewis has in store for us with their Christmas advert this year.

Update following advert launch:

We can now reveal that the John Lewis Christmas 2015 advert is a heart-warming tale of a child’s wish to deliver Christmas to “the man in the moon”, or should we say, “the man on the moon”:

The story follows a little girl called a Lily (a break from tradition for John Lewis’ recent adverts staring a boy as the main protagonist), and her discovery through her telescope of an old man living on the moon. Isolated and alone, he stares at the earth, and despite Lily’s best efforts to send him a message (a thwarted bow and arrow and paper airplane) she is unable to reach him. Time goes by but Lily doesn’t give up. Christmas day arrives, and amidst all the festivities of her family, Lily doesn’t forget the man on the moon.

Sitting alone in the grey and barren landscape, a burst of colour suddenly arrives for the man on the moon, with a special red parcel carried by helium balloons. It contains a telescope from Lily. Through his new telescope, the man on the moon can see all the people on the Earth enjoying the festivities, and feel part of it. He looks around, and spots Lily waving to him. They smile, and he waves back, moved to tears. Lily has given him the best gift of all – a connection, and in reaching out brings colour back to his life.

John Lewis’ advert concludes, with the phrase “Show someone they’re loved this Christmas”, reinforcing the message that Christmas is a time of giving. And despite being an advert for a major retailer, it shows Christmas is not just about the presents – it’s about reaching out and bringing joy to another.

Aside from the beautifully told story, there is the crucial underlying social message that Christmas can be a lonely and joyless time for people who are alone in this world, particularly the elderly with no family around them, so this advert, which John Lewis has paired with the charity Age UK, will be sure to raise crucial awareness that Christmas is the perfect time to reach out and show them they are not alone.

The Norwegian singer, Aurora, delivers a floaty and beautifully transcendent cover of Oasis' song “Half the world away” (famously used as the theme tune for The Royle Family). The song is a perfect choice with brilliantly apt lyrics which conveys the distance and isolation, but also the message that the distance doesn’t matter so long as you show some love at Christmas, and not just with your nearest and dearest.

 

“The big reveal” has certainly not failed to impress and move us, and we, and the nation, are sure to be waiting and watching for the #ManOnTheMoon tonight at 8pm on Channel 4.

*1http://metro.co.uk/2015/11/06/the-john-lewis-christmas-advert-2015-is-here-and-the-man-on-the-moon-will-make-you-weep-5482815/

*2http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3306855/Move-Monty-John-Lewis-s-Man-Moon-Christmas-ad-breaks-records-23-000-online-mentions-just-TWO-HOURS.html

*3http://www.brandrepublic.com/article/1371004/its-chriiistmaaas-ad-time

*4https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lewis_Christmas_advert

 

Posted 06/11/15

Author: smei

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