Today (Thursday November 10) at 8am, John Lewis launched its Christmas ad campaign: ‘Buster The Boxer’.
The push appeared on johnlewis.com, the department store group’s social media channels, and on Sky in an exclusive partnership.
The first terrestrial TV airing will be at around 9:15pm tonight on ITV during drama series ‘Paranoid’.
The advert will launch with the hashtag #BusterTheBoxer. It can also be viewed on www.johnlewis.com/christmas-advert and on John Lewis’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/johnlewisretail.
Set to a cover version of the song ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’ recorded by the British band Vaults, the two-minute promotion stars Buster the boxer dog and his family at Christmas.
The advert tells the story of a little girl called Bridget who loves to jump. Her Mum and Dad buy her a trampoline for Christmas and hide it in the garden to surprise her on Christmas Day.
However, after dark, in a world observed only by Buster, a cast of wildlife animals emerges – two foxes, a badger, a squirrel, and a hedgehog – who discover the trampoline and have fun jumping on it.
On Christmas morning, Bridget excitedly runs out into the garden to discover her present. However, Buster bounds past her and starts bouncing on her trampoline and she watches him wide-eyed.
As the story features some of Britain’s wildlife, John Lewis has chosen The Wildlife Trusts as this year’s Christmas campaign charity partner.
John Lewis customer director Craig Inglis said: “2016 has certainly been quite a year, so we hope our advert will make people smile. It really embraces a sense of fun and magic, reminding everyone what it feels to give the perfect gift at Christmas.
“Each year we work with a charity which fits our ad, and we hope this year’s campaign will encourage more children to discover a love of British wildlife and encourage support of The Wildlife Trusts.”
John Lewis will make a donation to The Wildlife Trusts from the sale of soft toys of the characters which feature in the advert. The retailer has also worked with the charity on a number of educational tools which will be available online, to encourage more children to develop an interest in British wildlife.
Commenting on the charity partnership, Stephanie Hilborne OBE, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “The Wildlife Trusts believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife and wild places in their daily lives. So, John Lewis putting some of our most beautiful British wild animals at the centre of their Christmas advert and making The Wildlife Trusts their charity of choice this Christmas, is great news. With this support we will be able to inspire thousands more children about the wonders of the natural world.”
Blythe Pepino, lead singer of Vaults said; “We were approached about doing a version of ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’ for the iconic John Lewis Christmas ad and loved the song choice.
“It’s such a powerful and beautiful song, made famous by the amazing Randy Crawford. Recording it at the Abbey Road studios with the talented, producer Chris Hill, and a 70-piece choir and 66-piece orchestra, was a truly incredible experience.”
The retailer’s flagship shop on Oxford Street in London will offer a virtual reality experience that will bring to life the world of Buster and his friends. There will also be a 360 film experience available using Google Cardboard in Oxford Street and accessible on JL.com and YouTube.
And in a first for the retailer, John Lewis will be partnering with Snapchat to create a bespoke Snapchat lense, available until midnight tonight, which will transform users into Buster the Dog. Plus, throughout December, customers visiting any of John Lewis’s 48 shops will also be able to apply a Snapchat filter to any of their pictures taken while in-store.
Until Sunday (November 13), customers will also be able to use bespoke Twitter stickers so they can personalise their own photos with Buster and his friends.
In addition, in a unique partnership with Sky, a ‘making of the ad’ film and bespoke content about British Wildlife, presented by Wildlife TV presenter Patrick Arlee, will be exclusively available to Sky’s 12 million customers via the On Demand homepage and Sky Go.
Buster the Boxer has been created by advertising agency adam&eveDDB. It was directed by Dougal Wilson who also directed three previous John Lewis Christmas adverts including 2011’s ‘The Long Wait’, 2012’s ‘The Journey’, and 2014’s ‘Monty’s Christmas’.